Bangalore: Close aide of the Bellary Reddys, B Sriramulu won the by-elections of Bellary by a whopping 48,000 votes, bringing quite an embarrassment for the BJP, the party which he quit.
There were celebrations after what was seen to be a battle for political survival. What is worse for the BJP was that its candidate even lost the deposit.
"I don't believe it's my victory; it's a victory of the people", Sriramulu said after the declaration of the result.
Sriramulu, considered close to the Reddy brothers, had quit the BJP after being dropped by Karnataka Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda from the state Cabinet.
Following Janardhana's Reddy's arrest by the CBI in the mining case, the Bellary mining faction was cornered from all ends. But with this huge win, the beleaguered faction of the BJP could work towards floating their own regional outfit.
The party, though, still maintains that the victory doesn't change anything in the state.
"The outcome of the bypoll will not have any impact on the BJP government," Sadananda Gowda said.
Sriramulu's victory comes despite the fact that the entire Reddy lobby was named in the Lokayukta's illegal mining report. With this victory, Sriramulu has ensured that the Bellary mining barons at least maintain a toe-hold in the state politics.