Bellary: Stung by the BJP's defeat in the Bellary bypoll, Karnataka Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda on Sunday said the "mistakes" committed by the party in the last three years were responsible for the loss.
However, he tried to put up a brave front, saying the party has made a good beginning in the region by securing more than 17,000 votes - from being "zero" there.
"We had zero votes there (after the party distanced itself from the Reddy brothers); now we have 18,000. I believe it's a good achievement," he said.
He said it was a mistake to give the Reddy brothers (whose protege B Sriramulu won the Bellary (Rural) bypoll today by 46,790 votes) a free run in Bellary district affairs. "No body is responsible for our defeat. The mistakes committed by us in the last three years are responsible".
Finishing third behind the Congress nominee, BJP candidate P Gadilingappa secured 17,366 votes, losing his deposit.
Gowda said the result would have no impact either on state's politics or the Government.
Asked if action would be taken against legislators who supported Sriramulu, the Chief Minister pointed out they had already been suspended, adding, the party would take the next steps after watching Sunday's developments.
Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Siddaramaiah, expressed surpise over the verdict.
"I can't believe it. It's a big setback for the Congress.
We never expected this. We thought it's a close fight (between Sriramulu and Congress candidate B Ramprasad who got 27,737 votes as agains Sriramulu's 74,527). Perhaps money and muscle power have worked. All calculations have gone topsy-turvy," he said.
Congratuting Sriramulu, JDS State President HD Kumaraswamy, whose party had supported him, said people of all communities have supported the former.