Karnataka Congress rejoices over defectors’ defeat
Prominent defeated defectors include Udayanraje Bhosale, who quit the NCP and lost the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll, and Alpesh Thakor, who quit the Congress but lost the Radhanpur MLA seat in Gujarat.
Legislators of the last House in Maharashtra and Haryana who deserted NCP and Congress to join the BJP were defeated in the assembly polls. Prominent defeated defectors include Udayanraje Bhosale, who quit the NCP and lost the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll, and Alpesh Thakor, who quit the Congress but lost the Radhanpur MLA seat in Gujarat.
Congress leaders in Karnataka have termed the result as the people’s verdict against defectors and say it’s ominous for the disqualified legislators. “Voters have rejected party hoppers in this election. Turncoats were defeated in Gujarat bypolls too. The situation will be repeated in Karnataka. The Congress will win majority of 15 seats and Yediyurappa will have to resign,” tweeted Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah.
In Maharashtra, at least 19 of 35 defectors bit the dust, including Jaydutt Kshirsagar, who contested on a Shiv Sena ticket in Beed, Vaibhav Pichad, who joined Shiv Sena from NCP, and former minister Harshvardhan Patil, who crossed over from the Congress to BJP.Many Haryana legislators too who quit the Indian National Lok Dal to join the BJP weeks before the elections lost. BJP’s tickets to ‘outsiders’ had sparked a rebellion and some of them contested as independents.
Karnataka BJP too is witnessing a similar situation with a few ticket aspirants hinting at contesting as rebels. “The assembly election results have definitely boosted our confidence. We are now confident that voters of the 15 constituencies will reject defectors the way it happened in Maharashtra and Haryana,” said state Congress spokesperson VS Ugrappa. He added that voters had rejected or BJP had sidelined earlier defectors. “Most Congress MLAs who joined the BJP during Operation Lotus a decade ago are nowhere today. They won bypolls but lost the elections later and have gone into hibernation,” Ugrappa said.
However, the disqualified legislators are putting up a brave face. “I am confident people will vote for the work I have done in my constituency, regardless of the party I represent,” a disqualified lawmaker said. The defectors are now awaiting the Supreme Court verdict, which on Friday completed hearing in their case.