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Karnataka bypolls | BJP leads in Sira, Rajarajeshwari Nagar

The ruling BJP is leading in the bypolls to Sira and Rajarajeshwari Nagar assembly constituencies, which had witnessed intense political battle in the run up to elections.

The BJP candidate Muniratna, whose resignation from Congress and the assembly seat had necessitated the election, is leading his nearest rival Congress H Kusuma in RR Nagar by a margin of nearly 18,000 votes at the end of sixth rounds of counting. Mr. Muniratna has so far polled 34,189 votes against Ms. Kusuma who has garnered 16,513 votes. The Janata Dal Secular candidate V Krishnamurthy is at a distant third with 1288 votes.

In Sira, a seat held by JD(S) , the BJP is leading the Congress by a slender margin while the JD(S) is trailing at third place. At the end of third round of counting BJP candidate Dr. C.M. Rajesh Gowda is leading with 11,770 votes from his nearest rival and former Minister T B Jayachandra of Congress who has polled 10, 251 votes. The JD(S) nominee Ammajamma , whose husband B Satyanarayana ‘s death necessitated the bye election, has polled 6,614 votes.

Though the bypoll results will have no bearing on the stability of BJP government, the elections were fought intensively since it was seen as a matter of prestige for leaders of political parties.

While the bypolls — first elections after DK Shivakumar took charge as KPCC president — was seen as a test for the leader since both constituencies have a sizeable Vokkaliga population.

The election is also important for the JD(S) to retain its hold in the Vokkaliga heartland from where the party derives its strength. So much so that the JD(S) supremo camped in Sira for over a week. A constituency that has limited number of Lingayat votes, BJP vice president B.Y. Vijayendra, son of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, camped in Sira for nearly three weeks, and a victory for BJP is expected to raise his stock in the party.

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