Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday hinted that if Hanagal by-poll result is a precursor to the 2023 assembly election in the state, then it is a bad precedent for the Congress as the party lost by over 30,000 votes in Sindgi byelection.
His comments followed KPCC president DK Shivakumar’s, who on Tuesday said the results were a precursor to 2023 assembly elections soon after Congress staged a victory in Hanagal bye-elections. Congress candidate Srinivas Mane won the Hanagal seat by a margin of 7,000 votes, defeating Shivaraj Sajjanar of the BJP.
“It is natural that the opposition will make such statements. It is their right. But what is their opinion on Sindgi bypoll results? The Congress lost by 30,000 plus votes. Will they claim it as a precursor? Therefore, it is not right to make such claims,” he told reporters here reacting to Shivakumar’s remarks.
Bypolls are different from state polls, and parties lose or win by-polls due to factors that are different from state elections, Bommai said. “The Congress won Gundlupet and Nanjangud bye-elections but lost both the seats and the state election in just one year. Therefore, bypolls are different from state polls. And the reasons for defeat and victory also are different from state elections,” he said.
Also, NDA came back to power with more seats than the previous Lok Sabha elections, despite losing 20 plus bypolls between 2014 to 2019, the chief minister said.
Asked the reasons for BJP’s defeat in Hanagal, Bommai said good work of Congress candidate Srinivas Mane during the Covid pandemic and failure of the BJP to capitalise on its leader CM Udasi’s base, are the main reasons for the party for losing Hanagal seat in the just-concluded bypolls in the state.
“I have already said it. Firstly, the BJP could not capitalise on CM Udasi’s base and the good work done by the Congress candidate (Mane) are the main reasons for the party to lose the Hanagal bye-election,” he said.
The party will hold deliberations on bypoll results and find out the reasons for BJP not getting another 7,000 plus votes in Hanagal to rectify the wrong, he said.