BJP retains Karnataka as defectors win big in bypolls
Voters in Karnataka handed a decisive mandate to help stabilise the four-month old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, led by B.S.Yediyurappa, over contentions of political morality as it registered victory in 12 out of the total 15 constituencies in the bypolls.

The mandate in which 11 out of the 13 disqualified legislators won inspite of their role in bringing down the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led coalition government allegedly for personal gain, indicating that engineering defections is indeed a sustainable political strategy that could pave the way for similar actions in other states.

Monday’s results will take BJP’s tally to 116 (excluding the speaker) in the 224-seater house and giving the party much needed relief after it lost Maharashtra last month. The party also enjoys the support of independent legislator taking its tally to 117 with two seats remaining vacant.

“In the remaining three and a half years, I along with my cabinet and legislators will give good governance and aim to win 150 seats in the next elections," an ecstatic Yediyurappa said in Bengaluru.

True to his word, Yediyurappa said that those legislators who resigned from the coalition and stood by the BJP will be given ministerial berths. The BJP had left 16 berths vacant of the total 34 to placate the rebels.

Party leaders and analysts says that voters had to either back Yediyurappa by overlooking the BJP’s role in bringing down Kumaraswamy or vote against them and plunge further into a political crisis since the Congress and JD(S) had snapped ties, leaving no alternative to take over the reins of the government. Yediyurappa’s plea to the dominant Lingayat community for support paying off and keeping him in power after he was forced to step down from the top office three times in the past.

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