The Congress emerged victorious in the Periyapatna Assembly constituency in a closely fought election with the sitting MLA K Venkatesh scoring a hat-trick. His victory improves the party’s performance in the district.
Of the 11 Assembly constituencies in the district, the Congress has captured nine, while the rest have been bagged by the JD(S).
With this victory, the strength of the Congress in the Assembly is now 122. Elections to Periyapatna had been deferred following the death of the BJP candidate, Sannamoge Gowda, a few days before the May 5 election. Results for the constituency that witnessed polls on May 28 was declared on Friday.
K Mahadev of the JD(S), who gave Venkatesh a tough fight, had to be content with the second spot, while BJP nominee R T Satish was pushed to the fourth place. H D Ganesh of the BSR Congress stood third.
Though the KJP had announced support to the Congress by remaining neutral in the run-up to the elections, the party’s candidate and former MLA H C Basavaraju garnered 827 votes.
More than the candidates, what set the tone for a big fight was the might of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy. It was a matter of prestige for Siddaramaiah to ensure the victory of his confidant.
And for Kumaraswamy, victory would have helped him settle scores with his political bete noire Siddaramaiah.
Venkatesh scored over his rival Mahadev by a small margin of 2,088 votes. Venkatesh polled 62,045 votes against Mahadev’s 59,957 votes. In 2008, Venkatesh had won against Mahadev by a wafer thin margin of 879 votes.
Venkatesh has now entered the hat-tick club with victories in 2004, 2008 and 2013. He had also won the Assembly polls in 1985 and 1994.
Venkatesh attributed his victory to Siddaramaiah and also admitted that it had been a tough fight.
“I had anticipated a big win. However, I am glad that the voters have supported me. I will strive for the further development of the constituency,” he added.