Bengaluru: The ruling BJP on Monday retained majority in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly as it bagged 12 out of the 15 seats where by-elections were held last week. Congress fared badly, winning two seats -- Hunsur and Shivajinagar - and an Independent one, leaving none for Deve Gowda's JD(S).
BJP with a tally of 105 seats needed 6 more seats to secure a simple majority in the 225-member House, even as two vacancies still exist. With the bypoll results on Monday, BJP increased its count in the Assembly to 117, just above the half-way mark.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing a poll meeting in Jharkhand, hailed the BJP's performance and accused the Congress of stealing the people's mandate in Karnataka through the back door, contending it has been taught a lesson in the just-concluded bypolls.
The Congress, which won 12 of those 15 seats in the 2018 assembly polls, was leading only in two segments -- Hunsur and Shivajinagar, while its former ally the JD(S) trailed in all the 12 seats it contested.
In wake of the defeat, KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and CLP leader Siddaramaiah resigned taking moral responsibility for Congress' poor show.
Independent candidate Sharath Bachegowda, who was earlier expelled from BJP for anti-party activities after he contested the bypoll as a rebel, was heading for a win in Hoskote.
The bypolls were held to fill the vacancies caused by the disqualification of 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs, whose revolt led to the collapse of the 14-month-old H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July and paved the way for BJP to come to power.
The BJP needed to win at least six of the 15 seats to remain in a majority in the 225-member assembly (including the Speaker, who has a casting vote), which would still have two vacant seats -- Maski and R R Nagar.
In the assembly with the current strength of 208 after the disqualifications, the BJP has 105 MLAs (including an independent), the Congress 66 and the JD(S) has 34 MLAs.
There is also one BSP member, a nominated member and the Speaker.
Yediyurappa had won the confidence motion on July 29 after the effective strength of the 225-member assembly came down to 208 and the majority mark to 105, equivalent of BJP's current strength, following the disqualifications.