Karnataka polls: Who are BJP's big losers?

Chief Minister Bommai won his constituency, Shiggaon, by 54.95%; but most of the big names from his party, including several ministers, were unseated

Representative image (Photo: NH File Photo)
Representative image (Photo: NH File Photo)

NH Digital

As the Indian National Congress emerged as the leading party in the closely contested Assembly elections, incumbent Karnataka chief minister Basavaraju Bommai conceded defeat, saying that his party would conduct a detailed analysis once the results were in.

Though Bommai won his constituency, Shiggaon, with 54.95 per cent of the votes, most of the big names in the Bharatiya Janata Party—including several ministers—lost their seats.

Here is a look at how the big BJP names fared:

C.T. Ravi, Chikkamagaluru

BJP's national general secretary and Tamil Nadu in-charge C.T. Ravi suffered a shock defeat in the Chikkamagaluru constituency against his former aide H.D. Thammaiah, who contested the polls on a Congress ticket. Thammaiah got 64,552 votes against Ravi's 55,678, a clear lead of 8,874 votes.

Thammaiah belongs to the Lingayat community and had worked as the president of the Chikkamagaluru Municipal Council. The Congress swept Chikkamagaluru by winning all the five assembly seats in the district.

V. Somanna, Varuna

Housing minister V. Somanna had contested against Congress stalwart and former chief minister Siddaramaiah. Somanna, who is a Lingayat leader, was able to secure only 73,653 votes, against Siddaramaiah's 1,19,816 votes.

He has been defeated in both the Chamarajanagar and Varuna constituencies.

In the 2018 Karnataka polls, the saffron party's Lingayat stalwart Somanna had won Govindarajanagar in Bengaluru. Siddaramaiah had won from the constituency in 2008 and 2013.

B. Sriramulu, Ballari Rural

Transport and scheduled tribes' welfare minister B. Sriramulu lost his seat to Congress MLA B. Nagendra. Congress was set to sweep undivided Bellary district. Congress candidate B. Nagendra was leading with 1,01,718 votes and Sriramulu was trailing with 72,866 votes—a margin of 28,852 votes.

Ahead of the polls, he has said that he may be the chief ministerial candidate in the future if the party decides. Ballari has been the stronghold of former BJP minister and mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy, who is Sriramulu's mentor. Reddy has been barred from entering Ballari by the Supreme Court.

B.C. Nagesh, Tiptur

The minister of school education and literacy in Bommai’s cabinet, B.C. Nagesh lost to Congress candidate K. Shadakshari by a margin of 17,652 votes. Nagesh had also won the state assembly elections from Tiptur constituency in 2008 and 2018.

The minister, who has Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) roots, Nagesh had declared earlier this year that students who wear hijab to examination centres would not be allowed to appear for their Class XII exams. He has also been accused of hate speech and genocidal speech against Muslims in Karnataka.

Dr K. Sudhakar, Chikkaballapur

In one of the biggest upsets of the Karnataka elections, state health minister K. Sudhakar lost by over 10,000 votes to Congress’s Pradeep Eshwar in Chikkaballapur.

A turncoat, who had defected to the BJP from the Congress in 2019, Sudhakar had triggered a row when he reserved 15 per cent of the beds at prominent Bengaluru hospitals for COVID-19 patients from Chikkaballapur district.

He was among the rebels who quit the Congress last year, plunging the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led government into a minority and enabling a takeover by the BJP.

During the peak of Covid-19, he had posted a photo with his children in a swimming pool, with the comment that he was maintaining social distancing even in the pool. Congress had called the post 'irresponsible' and had called for his resignation. He has since then deleted the post.

R. Ashoka, Kanakapura

Minister of revenue R. Ashoka, who was fielded against Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar in Kanakapura, had to face a humiliating defeat as he garnered only 19,753 votes, against Shivakumar's 14,3023 votes.

A Vokkaliga stalwart, Ashoka even lost his deposit in the contest and ended up in third place after Janata Dal (Secular) candidate B. Nagaraju, who got 20,631 votes. He had said ahead of the polls that the BJP would form a government even if the result was a hung assembly.

D.K. Shivakumar, 60, has been elected as MLA from the same seat in the last three Karnataka assembly elections, in 2008, 2013 and 2018.

Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, Sirsi

Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri lost to Bhimanna Naik of the Congress by 8,712 votes.

The Sirsi constituency in part of the Uttara Kannada district. In 2018, the seat was won by the BJP. At the time, Naik had come in second.

J.C. Madhuswamy, Chikkanayakanahalli

Law and parliamentary affairs minister J.C. Madhuswamy was defeated by C.B. Suresh Babu of the JD(S) by 10,025 votes.

Chikkanayakanahalli is a part of the Tumakuru district. In the last 16 Assembly polls, including the 1997 by-poll, the Congress won six times, the JD(S) thrice, the BJP twice, and the Janata Dal (United) and the Praja Socialist Party (PSP) won once, as did an independent candidate.

Suresh Babu belongs to the Kuruba community, which is one of the influential communities in the area, and Madhuswamy is a Lingayat.

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