Bengaluru, Nov 7: Despite losing Mandya Lok Sabha seat in the bypolls, the local BJP office was in a celebratory mood as this was the best ever performance of the party in the district in the Vokkaliga belt, a JDS stronghold.
The Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) candidate L R Shivarame Gowda scored a spectacular victory in Mandya, defeating BJP's Siddaramaiah, a political green horn and former civil servant by 3,24,943 votes.
While Gowda got 5,69,347 votes, Siddaramaiah secured 2,44,404.
Enthused by the party's performance BJP workers were seen congratulating Siddaramaiah and distributing sweets.
The BJP's Karnataka state unit chief B S Yeddyurappa called the party's performance "heartening."
"BJP's performance of polling 2.44 lakh votes in the traditional weak region of Mandya is really heartening. This will enable us to strengthen the party further socially and geographically in the next coming days," he said.
The constituency has strong Vokkaliga presence, the community to which JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda belongs.
During campaigning, Congress candidate had openly expressed their opposition to their party's decision to give up the seat to JD(S), as the grand old party too has significant presence in the region.
The by-elections were necessitated as C S Puttaraju of JD(S) resigned as MP on his election to the assembly in May this year.
During the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP candidate B Shivalingaiah secured 86,993 votes.
BJP makes significant inroads in Vokkaliga strong Mandya district