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BJP sweeps Karnataka LS polls

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 13, 2004 21:30 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday pulled off a splendid performance in the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, winning 18 of the 28 seats.

The Congress, which lost power in a fractured verdict in the assembly polls, conceded eight seats to the BJP, which more than doubled its tally from the last Lok Sabha polls.

Another key player, the Janata Dal-Secular led by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, bagged the remaining two.

The Congress managed to retain Kolar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Koppal, Mandya, Chikkaballapur. It wrested Kanakapura seat from Gowda and Chitradurga from the JD-United.

In the 1999 parliamentary polls, the Congress had won 17, BJP 7, JD-U 3 and JD-S 1.

Nonagenarian BJP leader Ramachandra Veerappa did not encounter much trouble in carving out his seventh successive win from Bidar constituency, while its debutant candidate, cop-turned politician H T Sangliana, shocked Congress veteran C K Jaffer Sharief in Bangalore North.

Sangliana derailed the former railway minister's hopes of chalking out a seventh successive win by handing him his first defeat.

The BJP also handed out another shock to the Congress when it conquered its strongest bastion, Bellary. The constituency gave an overwhelming victory to Congress president Sonia Gandhi against the BJP's high-profile leader Sushma Swaraj in 1999. After Gandhi quit Bellary to retain Amethi, Bellary voters had elected Congress nominee Kolur Basavanagouda in the by-election.

The seats that the BJP wrested from the Congress are: Bellary, Tumkur, Bangalore North, Mysore, Udupi, Shimoga, Kanara, Dharwad South, Belgaum and Bagalkot.

Karnataka unit BJP president, Anantkumar, who gave up his ministerial berth to build the party in the state, retained the Bangalore South seat, winning it for the fourth successive term.

Former chief minister S Bangarappa, who deserted the Congress and donned saffron robes, won the Shimoga seat.

Congress candidate Tejaswini Ramesh humbled Deve Gowda, who was confident of retaining his Kanakapura seat. Ramesh won by a margin of more than 100,000 votes.

However, Gowda won from his home district of Hassan.

The JD-S was successful in winning the Chamarajnagar seat, held by its party leader and former Union minister V Srinivas Prasad.

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