Buoyed by a landslide victory in 12 of the 15 Assembly by-elections held on December 5, an elated Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa yesterday declared that all the winning party candidates would be made ministers in the ensuing cabinet expansion soon.
“As I have assured them, all the 12 BJP candidates who won from their Assembly segments will be given cabinet posts soon. I am grateful to the people for having elected them as they sacrificed their seats to save democracy in the state,” Yediyurappa told reporters in Kannada.
The ruling party wrested 10 seats from the Congress and two from the Janata Dal - Secular in the bitterly-fought by-elections.
The Congress could retain only Shivajinagar in Bengaluru central but wrested Hunasuru in Mysuru district from the JDS-S, which drew blank.
“I am thankful to the electorate for reposing their faith in the BJP government and ensuring its continuation in the state for the remaining term of the Assembly. We will focus on development of the state with a stable government,” said Yediyurappa, who returned to power on July 26 for the third time in over a decade.
In the first Cabinet expansion in August, Yediyurappa inducted 16 ministers, including three deputy chief ministers and kept the remaining 17 posts vacant, ostensibly to reward the Congress and JD-S defectors who joined the BJP on November 14 and contested to retain their seats on the lotus symbol.
Independent Sharath Kumar Bachegowda won the Hosakote seat in the Bengaluru Rural district, defeating BJP’s M T B Nagaraj, who defected from the Congress.
“I will visit New Delhi soon to discuss the Cabinet expansion with party’s national president Amit Shah and meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support to the party’s state unit in the by-elections,” added Yediyurappa.
Earlier Modi welcomed the results and said that those who formed the government through backdoor ignoring people’s mandate have been taught a lesson. The prime minister was speaking at a rally in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh yesterday.
Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah yesterday resigned as the leader of opposition in state Assembly. He submitted his resignation to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. He said, the people’s verdict must be respected. “I express my sincere regret for not being able to give satisfactory results in the bye-elections despite my sincere efforts,” Siddaramaiah wrote in his resignation letter and further said that it was his moral responsibility to step down as the Congress Legislature Party Leader.
Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao too tendered his resignation to the party chief Sonia Gandhi, after the party suffered a massive defeat in the by-elections. “Taking moral responsibility, I am resigning as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president,” said Rao at the Congress office. Rao said that the Congress thought people will not favour the defectors, yet the BJP won.
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