Congress retains two seats in Karnataka by-polls

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Bengaluru, April 13 (IANS) The ruling Congress on Thursday retained the two assembly segments of Nanjangud (SC) and Gundlupet in Karnataka, while main opposition BJP drew a blank in the hard-fought by-polls on April 9.

In the prestigious Nanjangud constituency, ruling party’s candidate K. Keshavamurthy defeated Bharatiya Janata Party nominee Srinivasa Prasad by 21,334 votes.

In the Gundlupet constituency, Mohan Kumari Uruf alias Geetha of the Congress defeated BJP’s C.S. Niranjankumar by 10,877 votes.

Of the 1,56,315 votes polled in Nanjangud, Keshavamurthy secured 86,212 (55 per cent) and Prasad 64,878 (41.5 per cent).

The total electorate in the reserved seat is 2,01,823.

The by-election was necessitated due to the former lawmaker (Prasad) resigning from the reserved constituency in October after he was dropped from the Cabinet as Revenue Minister in June. He joined the BJP in early January.

The by-election for Gundlupet was caused due to the death of Congress lawmaker and Cooperation Minister Mahadeva Prasad in early January. Geetha is his widow.

Of the 1,74,955 votes polled in Gundlupet, Geetha bagged 90,260 votes (51.6 per cent) and Niranjankumar 79,383 votes (45.4 per cent). The total electorate is 2,00,892.

Nanjangud in Mysuru district is 170 km and Gundlupet in Chamarajanagar district is 210 km from Bengaluru in the state’s southwest region.

“I thank the voters of Gundlupet and Nanjangud for electing our candidates. The outcome motivates our leaders and cadres for the assembly elections due in 2018,” party’s state unit President G. Parameshwara told reporters here.

BJP’s state President B.S Yeddyurappa, who campaigned extensively, acknowledged the defeat of the party’s candidates in both the assembly seats.

“I accept the defeat in the bye-election. But we will bounce back in the 2018 assembly elections with 150 seats. I thank our party workers for poll campaigning,” Yeddyurappa said in a tweet.

As the regional outfit Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) did not contest, the Congress managed to prevent the division of “secular” votes.

–IANS

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