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Congress beats BJP and KJP in Council bypolls

BANGALORE, August 26, 2013, dhns:
Nagaraj Chabbi

The Congress continued its winning spree by walking away with two of the three seats to the Legislative Council from the Local Authorities Constituencies. One seat went to an independent. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) had to bite the dust. 

The byelections were held on August 22. Results were declared on Monday. The Mysore and Dharwad seats went to the Congress, and the Chitradurga seat to an independent. Voters were elected members of the local bodies, MLAs and MPs of the undivided districts of Dharwad, Mysore and Chitradurga. 

The results trickled in when Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was sharing his achievements and happiness for completing 100 days in office, with the media in Vidhana Soudha. He said some initiatives of his government had attracted the people and thus the party had been able to win the elections. 

The byelections were necessitated as the sitting BJP MLCs of Dharwad and Mysore had resigned to join the KJP of B S Yeddyurappa. In Chitradurga, the BJP MLC gave up his council seat after he won the Assembly election. The experiment of the BJP and KJP unitedly fighting the polls to take on the Congress and the JD-S keeping off the poll battle did not create any problem for Congress candidates. 

Congress’ nominee Nagaraj Chabbi won the Dharwad seat by trouncing BJP leader Jagadish Shettar’s brother Pradeep Shettar. In Mysore, the home turf of Siddaramaiah, Congress candidate R Dharmasena won the seat by defeating his nearest rival U S Shekar of the KJP.

 Many BJP leaders, including D V Sadananda Gowda, had extensively campaigned for Shekar. The Chitradurga council seat has gone to the 33-year-old G Raghu Achar, a businessman, who contested as an independent.
He was pitted against M A Sethuram of the Congress and K S Naveen of the BJP. The Congress was pushed to the third position, with the BJP occupying the second slot. Achar, a native of Mysore, had made a vain attempt to get the Congress ticket. 

Pradeep Shettar lost to Nagaraj Chabbi in Dharwad, a stronghold of the BJP. Chabbi, in this preferential system of voting, could not get the mandatory 50 per cent plus one vote of the total votes polled, in the first round. 

Of the total 7,316 voters, 7,293 had exercised their franchise, and 7,114 votes were found valid.

Chabbi had secured 3,492 votes, while Shettar, 3,447 votes. Basavaraj Hadi, an independent candidate, could get only 175 votes.  

Counting of the second preference votes had to be taken up and eventually Chabbi clinched the seat by a margin of 43 votes. 

In Mysore, Dharmasena won the seat by getting 3,779 first preferential votes. In Chitradurga, of the total 5,071 votes polled, 361 were invalid. In the first round, Raghu Achar had secured 1,753 votes. In the second preferential vote counting, he secured another 223 votes and thus won the seat. 


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