Odisha: BJD, Congress Rejoice Karnataka Jolt To BJP, BJP Alleges Misuse Of State Govt Machinery

07 November 2018

Mohammed Ishtiyaque

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Bhubaneswar: A day after the stunning blow to BJP in Karnataka by-poll results ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the saffron party’s political bête noire in Odisha, BJD and Congress, pat came with their reactions today in which both were seen elated at the drubbing while State unit BJP passed the buck on Karnataka JD(S)-Congress Government’s “misuse of power”.

In his reactions, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said, “Obviously we’re elated at our party’s victory. Hence, we’re now hopeful that the same result would reflect in the future general polls countrywide.”

“The way the BJP Government at the Centre has failed to keep any of their promises given despite having ruled for four and half years. Be it demonetization, GST and other issues, all the steps taken by the BJP Government have utterly failed. Now the Indian economy has been devastated,” he lambasted.

BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, “The manner in which the results of Karnataka by-elections have come up and BJP has got defeated in 4 seats out of the five fought, it clearly indicates that the way BJP suffered humiliating defeat in Bijepur here in the State and elsewhere in the country, its political mercury is gradually dipping.”

“In the context of Odisha, I would like to comment on BJP’s 120 overestimation and self-aggrandizement. It is high time BJP should introspect. The party is heading towards a sure-shot humiliating defeat in Odisha during the 2019 polls,” he remarked.

He further remarked, “The way they (BJP) flaunted ‘Achchhe Din’ slogan and tried to influence the people of India in 2014, the blatant lie has been caught red-handed by the public and now the mask has been laid bare. Thus, BJP should now get ready for the reply it is going to receive from the people of Odisha in 2019.”

On the contrary, Odisha BJP general secretary Prithwiraj Harichandan argued, “A political party has formed government there (Karnataka). The reason behind the results has already been stated by our national spokespersons. The main reason is extreme misuse of the government machinery there.”

“However, our party will certainly introspect into the results and scrutinise to find out the reasons. In rest of the country our party’s position is not like that of Karnataka. Efforts are now on to see that the results of 2014 are repeated successfully,” he averred.

Notably, the JD-S-Congress coalition on Tuesday worsted the saffron party 4-1 in the Karnataka by-elections, winning two Lok Sabha and two Assembly constituencies, while conceding only the Shimoga parliamentary seat.

In what was considered the semi-final ahead of the next year's general elections, it was a resounding victory for the ruling coalition in just six months after the May 12 assembly elections, which had returned a hung verdict, forcing the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (S) to come together to form a coalition government on May 23.

While the JD-S and the Congress won the Mandya and Bellary (ST) Lok Sabha seats, they also bagged the Ramanagaram and Jamkhandi Assembly seats.

The Congress scored a major victory wresting the BJP's citadel in Bellary (reserved) Lok Sabha seat, where its candidate V.S. Ugrappa defeated BJP's J. Shantha by a margin of 2,43,161 votes.

Ugrappa polled 6,28,365 votes against 3,85,204 secured by Shantha, sister of BJP leader B. Sriramulu, a close associate of the controversial mining Reddy brothers.

The by-election was held in the Lok Sabha constituency, which was a BJP bastion since 2004, after Sriramulu resigned following his election to the state Assembly from Molakalmuru (reserved) seat in the adjacent Chitradurga district in May.

Bellary in the southern state's northwest region shot into national fame when then Congress president Sonia Gandhi won in the 1999 mid-term Lok Sabha elections, defeating BJP's Sushma Swaraj.

Sonia, however, resigned from Bellary within weeks to retain the Rai Bareily Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh as she had contested from both the constituencies.

The BJP had pulled all stops during the campaigning to ensure a victory for Shantha, who represented the constituency from 2009-14.

BJP, however, managed to win the Shimoga Lok Sabha seat where its former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's son B.Y. Raghavendra defeated JD-S nominee Madhu Bangarappa, son of former chief minister late S. Bangarappa, by 52,148 votes majority. Raghavendra polled 5,43,306 votes against 4,91,158 by Madhu.

Yeddyaruappa resigned from Shimoga on getting elected to the assembly from the Shikaripura segment in the same district in the Malnad region, causing the vacancy.

In the two assembly by-polls, the ruling alliance scored a resounding victory.

The prestigious Ramnagaram seat went to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha, who won on the JD-S ticket by a huge margin of 1,09,137 votes.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Niranjan Patnaik, President, PCC, Odisha

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Sasmit Patra, Spokesperson, BJD

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Prithwiraj Harichandan, General Secretary, BJP, Odisha