While BJP won in Bengaluru South, Central and North, Congress retained the rural parliamentary seat
The State capital, known for its strong pro-incumbency, yet again refused to disturb the status quo with both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress retaining their Lok Sabha constituencies. While the BJP won all three seats in Bengaluru, the Congress retained the rural parliamentary seat. It was the party’s sole win in the entire State.
The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) were banking on their alliance to trump the BJP in Bengaluru. However, it was a rout with the BJP winning three seats — South, Central and North — which it has held since 2004. Voters gave decisive victories, with all winners garnering more than 50% of the votes.
The results saw the début of 28-year-old lawyer-turned-politician Tejasvi Surya in Bengaluru South constituency, who was filling in the shoes of the late Ananth Kumar, a six-time MP from the constituency. Despite concerns of inter-party rumblings over the BJP’s decision to deny ticket to Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, the late MP’s wife, Mr. Surya garnered over 62% of the popular vote winning by a margin of 3.31 lakh votes. It was the biggest margin of victory, more than what Ananth Kumar had garnered through six elections.
Dedicating the victory to the late MP, Mr. Surya said people had re-elected Narendra Modi as Prime Minister to strengthen the idea of a new India.
State Minister Krishna Byre Gowda’s performance came as shock to the party. Though he was pitched as the Congress candidate in Bengaluru North at the eleventh hour, he was expected to give a tough fight or even win the seat, as there were seven MLAs from the ruling Congress-JD(S) combine in the constituency. However, he failed to dislodge the incumbent Union Minister and BJP’s D.V. Sadananda Gowda. His presence in the fray reduced the BJP’s margin of victory to 1.47 lakh from 2.29 lakh votes in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
In the early hours of counting, Bengaluru Central was one constituency that seemed to buck the trend, but finally conformed to pro-incumbency in the end. Though incumbent BJP candidate P.C. Mohan was expected to win the seat, Congress candidate Rizwan Arshad was leading by over 24,000 votes at one point. Eventually, however, the BJP won the seat with a margin of 70,968 votes, down from 1.37 lakh votes in 2014. The constituency had also drawn national attention as actor Prakash Raj was in the fray as an Independent. He garnered 28,916 votes. Terming his performance “a solid slap” on his face, Mr. Raj said he would stand his ground and his resolve to fight for secular India.
Congress candidate and incumbent MP D.K. Suresh, brother of Congress strongman D.K. Shivakumar, won back the Bengaluru Rural seat. He is the only Congress MP from the State. Though he won by a comfortable margin of 2.06 lakh votes and over 54% of the popular vote, the BJP, which is yet to make any inroads in the region, garnered a considerable 6.71 lakh votes.
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