Several BJP leaders in Karnataka, including Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, on Saturday, exuded confidence about the party's prospects of winning the December 5 by-polls to 15 assembly seats, the outcome of which will have a bearing on the government led by him. The results will be declared on December 9.
"I will not speak anything about the bypoll results now. You will get to know on December 9. We will win with a lead of 25,000-30,000 votes in most of the constituencies and according to our estimate, we are confident of winning all the 15 seats," Yediyurappa told reporters.
Speaking to reporters in Magadi, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan said it was a 'known fact' that BJP would win the maximum number of seats and that would be officially known on December 9.
Noting that a stable and strong BJP government would continue in the state, he said people have voted for the party with this in mind. The public opinion has come in the form of exit polls. According to me we will win in at least 12 seats. Even if we win in all 15 seats, dont be surprised, he added.
Exit polls by some agencies and regional news channels have predicted that BJP would get a comfortable majority, with the ruling party winning in 9-12 out of the 15 seats. The BJP needs to win at least six 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.
The BJP has 105 MLAs, including an independent, in the assembly, which currently has 208 legislators, while Congress has 66 and the JD(S) 34. There is also one BSP member, a nominated member and the Speaker.
Claiming to be the 'master' of byelections, having experienced it many times, Housing Minister V Somanna too said that with his 40 years experience in politics, he could say that BJP would win a minimum of 12-13 seats. It will not be a surprise if we win all the seats...Im saying that people of state will not abandon Yediyurappa. His experience and far sightedness are going to benefit the state in the next three and a half years, he said
He said people opted for the BJP for stability after experiencing the instability of Congress-JD(S) coalition government. The byelections 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 H D Kumaraswamy led
coalition government in July and paved the way for BJP to come to power.
BJP had fielded 13 of the 16 disqualified legislators, who joined the party after the Supreme Court allowed them to contest the bypolls, as its candidates from their respective constituencies from where they had won the 2018 assembly elections on Congress and JD(S) tickets. Among 15 constituencies which went to the bypolls, 12 are held by Congress and three by JD(S).
While in most constituencies there was a direct contest between Congress and BJP, JD(S) came into the picture in the southern parts of the state, making it a triangular fight.