Bengaluru, May 23 (IANS) Setting an unprecedented record in south India, a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday won 22 seats and was leading in three of the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka where the vote count was about to end for the two-phase polling held on April 18 and April 23.
In contrast, the ruling Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) allies faced a rout in the southern state, retaining only one seat each and forfeiting nine seats to the BJP.
The 22 seats the BJP won across the southern state are Bagalkot, Bangalore Central, Bangalore North, Bangalore South, Bellary (ST), Bidar, Chamarajanagar, Chikkaballapur, Chikkodi, Chitradurga (SC), Dharwad, Davanagere, Dakshina Kannada, Gulbarga (SC) Haveri, Koppal, Mysore, Raichur (ST), Shimoga, Tumkur, Udupi-Chikmagalur and Uttara Kannada.
The BJP is leading in Belgaum, Bijapur (SC) and Kolar (SC).
The Congress retained only Bangalore Rural with D.K. Suresh winning against BJP’s Ashwath Narayangowda by a margin of 2,06,870 votes.
JD-S also retained Hassan where its candidate Prajwal Revanna defeated A. Manju of the BJP by 1,41,324 votes. Prajwal is the grandson of JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and son of state PWD Minister H.D. Revanna, elder brother of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.
An independent – south Indian multi-lingual film actress Sumalatha Ambareesh, backed by the BJP – won in Mandya over JD-S contestant Nikhil Kumaraswamy by a margin of 1,25,876 votes.
Nikhil is the son of Kumaraswamy and another grandson of JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda.
Deve Gowda, however, lost to BJP’s G.S. Basavaraj in Tumkur by a narrow margin of 13,339 votes.
Congress leader in the outgoing Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge also lost to BJP’s Umesh Jadav in the Gulbarga reserved seat by a margin of 95,452 votes.
BJP’s first-time contestant and young turk Tejasvi Surya defeated Congress Rajya Sabha member B.K. Hariprasad in the high-profile Bangalore South by a whopping margin of 3,11,192 votes.
The BJP contested in 27 seats while Congress fought in 21 and ally JD-S in seven seats as part of their pre-poll alliance seat arrangement.
In the 2014 general election, the BJP had won 17 seats, the Congress nine and JD-S two.
In fact, the nine seats the Congress won in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the state was its highest anywhere in the country, which made the party appoint its member from Gulbarga Mallikarjun Kharge as its leader in the lower house of Parliament.