The BJP on Tuesday completed a clean sweep in the Karnataka bypolls, winning both Sira in Tumkur district and Rajarajeshwarinagar in Bengaluru to add to its tally of 119 seats in the Assembly.

While the outcome has given a boost to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s stock amid talks about his replacement in some quarters, it’s being seen as a setback for the Opposition , especially state Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar as it was the first election under his presidency.

In the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly segment, N. Munirathna scored a hattrick winning by a margin of over 58,100 votes; while in Sira it was a history of sorts for the BJP as it recorded its first-ever victory, with its candidate C.M. Rajesh Gowda winning by a margin of over 13,400 votes.

The bypoll has been necessitated in Sira in Tumakuru district following the death of JD(S) MLA B. Sathyanarayana in August, while the RR Nagar seat fell vacant due to the disqualification of the then Congress MLA Munirathna last year under the anti-defection law.

Though it was known that the results of the polls will have no bearing on the stability of the BJP government, the outcome was perceived in many quarters as a reflection on the performance of the Yediyurappa government, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanking voters for the party’s victory in both the constituencies, Yediyurappa said: “This is the victory of the people and by ensuring BJP’s victory they have exuded confidence and support towards the state government and its handling of flood situation and corona pandemic.”

He also promised to fulfill the promises made to the people during the campaign and said that with the blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi he will work towards completion of all the developmental works, in the remaining two and half years tenure.

The CM’s son and state BJP vice president B.Y. Vijayendra is being credited in part for the party’s victory in Sira. After KR Pet win in 2019, the Sira win is another feather to his cap, with him being seen as Yediyurappa’s political heir apparent.