BJP lost deposits in 31 constituencies, Congress in 12 in Karnataka Assembly elections

Minister in Basavaraj Bommai Cabinet, R Ashok, who was fielded against KPCC chief DK Shivakumar lost his deposit, polling just 10.36% votes

BySumit Jha

Published May 17, 2023 | 9:00 AMUpdatedMay 17, 2023 | 10:48 AM

BJP lost deposits in 31 constituencies, Congress in 12 in Karnataka Assembly elections

As the Congress emerged victorious in the Karnataka State Legislative Assembly elections, winning 135 seats in the 224-member House, the BJP, which had been in power since 2019, faced a significant setback, securing only 66 seats.

In addition, the BJP also experienced the ignominy of a significant number of its candidates losing their deposits.

A total of 31 candidates from the saffron party and 12 candidates from the Congress lost their deposit in the recently-concluded Karnataka legislative assembly election.

Losing deposit

In the electoral process, candidates are required to submit a security deposit to the Election Commission of India (ECI) when contesting either a Parliamentary or Assembly election.

The deposit amount is ₹25,000 for Parliamentary elections and ₹10,000 for Assembly elections.

Referred to as a security deposit, its purpose is to encourage the participation of serious candidates while discouraging frivolous nominations.

Related: Modi, Shah campaigned in 47 segments, BJP won only 15

By mandating this deposit, the electoral system seeks to ensure that only committed and genuinely interested individuals file their candidacies to contest elections.

Thus, losing a deposit occurs when a candidate fails to secure one-sixth (16.7 percent) of the total votes polled in their constituency.

Losing a deposit is not only a financial setback for the candidates but is also seen as a sign of electoral failure.

It can impact the reputation of both the party and the individual candidates.

Moreover, losing a deposit may discourage those who who lost it from standing in elections, as it signifies a lack of public support.

The Karnataka Assembly election undoubtedly brought about a significant political shift in the state, and the loss of deposits serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by political parties in securing the support and trust of the electorate.

Also read: Big Congress win busts BJP electoral prowess myths

The big names that lost deposits: R Ashok

In a stunning defeat, senior BJP leader R Ashok, who also served as the Minister of Revenue in the Basavraj Bommai Cabinet, not only lost the election but also his deposit in the Kanakpura constituency.

Despite his prominence within the party and extensive experience in Karnataka politics, R Ashok faced a major setback in the electoral battle.

Karnataka assembly election security depositContending against formidable opponents, including the Congress’ state unit chief DK Shivkumar and JD(S) candidate B Nagaraju, R Ashok secured a mere 10.36 percent of the vote share, being relegated to the third position.

It is noteworthy that B Nagaraju managed to secure only a slightly higher vote share of 10.82 percent.

However, DK Shivkumar emerged victorious with an overwhelming 75.03 percent of the votes, securing a resounding victory with a massive margin of 1,22,392 votes.

Prior to this defeat, R Ashok held significant positions in the Karnataka government, including the role of deputy chief minister. He had also served in various portfolios, including home, transport, and revenue.

With a political career spanning back to 1994, Ashok had been a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on several occasions, having won multiple elections from the Padmanabhanagar constituency in Bengaluru.

Related: The national implications of the Karnataka election verdict

Krishnarajanagara saga

The Krishnarajanagara Legislative Assembly constituency in the Mysuru district also witnessed a significant defeat for the BJP, with Hosahalli Venkatesh securing a mere 1.24 percent of the total votes.

In contrast, the Congress’ Ravishankar D emerged victorious with a substantial 55.34 percent of the total votes.

This defeat in Krishnarajanagara is particularly notable as it reflects a continuation of the BJP’s poor performance in the constituency. In the 2018 election, the BJP candidate HG Shweta Gopala had also secured a meagre share of the votes: 1.55 percent.

Interestingly, Hosahalli Venkatesh, who contested as an Independent candidate in the 2018 election, managed to secure only 1 percent of the votes.

The Holenarasipur constituency witnessed a significant setback for the BJP, with their candidate G Devarajegowda securing only 2.62 percent of the total votes. This result highlighted a clear lack of support for the BJP in that particular constituency.

Related: Most Congress-JD(S) turncoats of 2019 lose Karnataka election

BJP’s poor run

The BJP faced challenges in several other constituencies, with a total of five candidates securing less than 4 percent of the total vote share.

Additionally, four candidates received less than 5 percent, two candidates received less than 6 percent, one candidate received less than 8 percent, and three candidates received less than 9 percent of the votes in their respective constituencies.

Moreover, two candidates received less than 10 percent, two candidates received less than 11 percent, and two candidates received less than 12 percent of the vote share.

The pattern continued, with four candidates receiving less than 13 percent, two candidates receiving less than 14 percent, one candidate receiving less than 15 percent, and one candidate receiving less than 16 percent of the vote share.

These results indicate that the BJP struggled to gain significant support in several constituencies.

Also read: Siddaramaiah claims popularity but Shivakumar fights for his due

BJP below independents

The BJP faced major setbacks in the Arkalgud and Channagiri constituencies, where its candidates secured less vote share than independent candidates, who even managed to secure their deposits.

In the Arkalgud constituency, BJP candidate H Yogaramesha managed to secure only 10.09 percent of the vote share. Surprisingly, independent candidate MT Krishnegowda received a higher vote share of 28.38 percent.

However, it was JD(S) party candidate A Manju who emerged victorious with the highest vote share of 38.49 percent.

Similarly, in the Channagiri constituency, BJP candidate HS Shivakumar obtained only 12.9 percent of the vote share.

In contrast, independent candidate Madal Mallikarjuna received a significantly higher vote share of 37.19 percent.

It is worth noting that the winning candidate from the Congress, Basavaraju V Shivaganga, secured the highest vote share of 47.03 percent.

Also Read: Will Karnataka verdict impact Telangana elections?

Losing deposits in a winning election

Despite securing a significant majority in Karnataka, the Congress also faced setbacks in the elections, with as many as 12 candidates losing their deposits.

Karnataka assembly election security depositThe party’s biggest defeat was witnessed in the Tumakuru Rural and Devadurga constituencies, where its candidates managed to secure only 2.23 percent of the vote share each.

Additionally, three Congress candidates obtained less than 3 percent of the vote share, while in the Shikaripura constituency, candidate Goni Malatesh secured only 4.86 percent of the vote share.

Three candidates received less than 10 percent of the vote share, and four candidates secured less than 15 percent of the vote share.

Interestingly, in the Arabhavi, Belagavi Dakshin, Raybag, and Shikaripura constituencies, independent candidates secured more votes than the Congress candidates and also managed to retain their deposits.

This highlights the diverse and competitive nature of these constituencies, where independent candidates were able to connect with voters effectively.

The fact that independent candidates were able to secure higher vote shares than the BJP or Congress candidates indicates that specific local factors, independent candidates’ popularity, and constituency-specific issues influenced the voters’ choices.

The Janata Dal (Secular) won only 19 seats in this election.

Interestingly, in 13 of these constituencies, nine BJP candidates and four Congress candidates lost their deposits.