Siddaramaiah resigns as Congress Legislature Party leader after Karnataka by-polls
On Monday, Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah resigned as the party legislature leader after the Bharatiya Janata Party's victory in the state by-polls. Siddaramaiah also resigned as the leader of opposition in the Karnataka Assembly. Of the 15 seats that went to poll on December 5, the BJP is set to win 12, securing a majority in the Assembly. Here's more.
Submitted my resignation to Sonia Gandhi: Siddaramaiah
Taking "moral responsibility" for the embarrassing defeat in the Karnataka by-poll results today, Siddaramaiah announced, "As a leader of legislative party, I need to respect democracy. I have resigned as Congress Legislative Party leader." He said he has tendered his resignation to Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi. The 71-year-old leader added, "I have also resigned as leader of opposition in the Karnataka Assembly."
'Sincerely regret not being able to give satisfactory results'
In his resignation letter, Siddaramaiah wrote, "I express my sincere regrets for not being able to give satisfactory results in the recently concluded bye-elections held to Karnataka Legislative Assembly despite my sincere efforts." He further wrote, "I deem it necessary to step down as Leader of CLP by taking moral responsibility," adding that he remains loyal to the Congress party.
You can read Siddaramaiah's complete letter here
Congress performed poorly in by-polls as BJP surged to victory
In a major setback to the Congress, the party won only two seats out of 15 seats in the Karnataka by-polls, which were conducted on December 5. In last year's Karnataka Assembly elections, the Congress had held 12 out of the 15 seats. Meanwhile, the BJP has won 10 seats and is leading in 2 others, which it is set to secure.
JD(S) won in no polling constituencies
Independent candidate Sharath Kumar Bachegowda won from Hosakote. Meanwhile, the Janata Dal (Secular) also faced major defeat and won in no polling constituencies. The JD(S) had won three of the 15 seats in last year's Assembly elections.
Why were the by-polls conducted?
The by-polls were conducted to fill the 15 out of 17 vacancies left after 17 MLAs of the former Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) government defected to the BJP. These included 14 MLAs from Congress and three from JD(S). They were disqualified, reducing the House strength from 224 to 207. The BJP, with 105 seats and support from an Independent, then took charge with Yeddiyurappa as CM.