By-polls: Cong wrests seat from BJP

Winning candidate secures 1,971 votes against BJPs 1,790; Janata Dal (Secular) finishes fourth

R Raveendra Kumar of Congress defeated his nearest rival R Srinivas of BJP by a slender margin of 181 votes. Raveendra polled a total of 1,971 votes against Srinivas who garnered 1,790 votes, at the counting held in MCC premises in the city on Thursday. Independent J Kiran Kumar secured 579 votes pushing Janata Dal (Secular) candidate S R Swamy to fourth slot, who had to be satisfied for 278 votes. Another independent Annaiah Swamy fared poor with just four votes.

Congress party workers had a hint of winning the by-polls soon after the first round of counting was completed. Raveendra was leading by a margin of 440 votes, securing 1,350 votes against Srinivas (910 votes) when the first round was completed.Soon after the completion of second and final round of counting, joy knew no bounds for Congress party workers who burst fire crackers, besides raising victory slogans. The joy reached its crescendo following the arrival of MLA Tanveer Sait, who had been entrusted with the task of the by-polls by the party. Speaking to media Tanveer Sait said it’s the first victory for the party after G Parameshwar took charge as President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC). It can be construed as voters reposing faith in the party and the credit goes to all who had worked hard for the success.

Elated over tasting victory in his second attempt to the council, Raveendra said he was aware of the woes on water, garbage and other fronts in the area and assured to make honest efforts to address them. He didn’t forget to thank the voters of the ward for his election.

Of the total 9,022 voters in the ward 4,757 had exercised their franchise in the polling held on November 9. Among the total votes polled, 4,622 were termed valid, while the remaining 135 were declared invalid votes. The day’s process began with the mixing of votes from 8 am to 9 am and the results were announced at 11 am. Council secretary Gayathri was the returning officer, deputy revenue officer Nagendrappa was the assistant returning officer.

Blank ballot papers

Most of the ballot papers were found blank without voting mark — a valid ground to declare them invalid. While few had thumb impressions, few others had multiple voting with the voters preferring to vote for all the five candidates.

Congress tally goes up

With this victory, Congress party that had been reduced to 14 with eight Corporators defecting to BJP, has added one more seat to its tally in the MCC. BJP has lost one of the total 17 councillors. The ruling JD(S) has nothing to lose or gain, except for the efforts put in by rank and file of the party in the city level including Mayor to fare well in the by-polls. However, it still remains the party having highest number of 18 councillors, if those who returned to the party fold are also taken into consideration.

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