The ruling BJP on Monday retained majority in the Karnataka Assembly when it bagged six seats in the byelections in which it was also leading in an equal number in other segments where counting is underway.
The BJP's good show in 12 seats comes as a morale booster for the saffron party after it's setback in Maharashtra.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing a poll meeting in Jharkhand, hailed the BJP's performance and accused the Congress of stealing the people's mandate in Karnataka through the back door, contending it has been taught a lesson in the just-concluded bypolls.
The Congress, which won 12 of those 15 seats in the 2018 assembly polls, was leading only in two segments -- Hunsur and Shivajinagar, while its former ally the JD(S) trailed in all the 12 seats it contested.
Independent candidate Sharath Bachegowda, who was earlier expelled from the BJP for anti-party activities after he contested the bypoll as a rebel, was heading for a win in Hoskote.
The six BJP candidates who won are: Arabail Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapura), Narayana Gowda (K R Pete), B C Patil (Hirekerur), Shrimant Patil (Kagwad), Mahesh Kumthalli (Athani) and K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura).