BJP supporters celebrate victory (Photo Source: PTI)
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its rival Congress have managed to secure one seat each in the keenly contested bypolls to the Legislative Assembly of Kundagol and Chincholi segment in Karnataka. In the last assembly elections, both the Kundagol and Chincholi seats were bagged by the Congress.
In Kundagol, Kusumavati Shivalli, the Congress candidate and wife of the former Minister late CS Shivalli, defeated BJP's SI Chikkanagoudar by a slender margin of 1,601 votes, while in Chincholi, BJP's Avinash Jadhav defeated Subhas V Rathod of the Congress by a margin of 8,030 votes. With this, the BJP has gained one more seat in the Assembly while the Congress tally is down from 80 to 79.
While sympathy helped the Congress retain the Kundagol Assembly segment, Umesh Jadhav, who quit the Congress to join the BJP, has managed to get his son Avinash Jadhav elected from Chincholi, the constituency he represented earlier.
The Chincholi bypoll, which took place along with the last phase of Lok Sabha election on May 19, was necessitated by the resignation of Umesh Jadhav, who quit Congress and joined BJP to contest the recent Lok Sabha polls from Gulbarga. Kundgol seat fell vacant following the death of Minister CS Shivalli.
The election results had its bearing in the coalition government, where both Congress and JD(S) leaders have been airing their differences publicly. There has also been a growing clamour within Congress for its leader Siddaramaiah to become Chief Minister once again.