Constituency that proved the worth of even one vote no more

Constituency that proved the worth of even one vote no more

The Assembly constituency that proved the worth of even a single vote, in 2004, lost its existence by the next the election held in 2008.

Santhemaralli, which was formed in 1962, was always a reserved constituency for Scheduled Castes. It was merged into Kollegal and Chamarajanagar constituencies in the delimitation process.

The constituency hit the headlines due to the uniqueness in the result in 2004 — R Dhruvanarayan of Congress trounced A R Krishnamurthy of JD(S) by a margin of just one vote. Krishnamurthy — whose father B Rachaiah, who went on to become the Governor, had represented the constituency four times — had earlier been an MLA from the same segment twice.

Then, there were 1,32,014 voters and 72.12 per cent of them had exercised their franchise. Dhruvanarayan polled 40,752 votes, followed by Krishnamurthy, 40,751. Electronic voting machines had not yet been used, so it was physical voting.

Krishnamurthy sought recounting with hopes that it might change his fate. However, there was no change in the result.

Santhemaralli was represented by B Rachaiah of Congress in 1962 and 1967; K Siddaiah, also of Congress, in 1972; M Madiah of Indira Congress in 1978; again by B Rachaiah, but now from Janata Party, in 1983 and 1985; K Siddaiah of Congress again in 1989; and A R Krishnamurthy from Janata Dal in 1994 and from JD(U) in 1999.

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