JD(S) leading in bypoll to teachers' constituency

JD(S) candidate Ramesh Babu was leading at the end of counting of first preferential votes to the Southeast Teachers’ constituency in the Legislative Council. The counting of votes was taken up at the Government Arts College, Bengaluru, for the byelections held to the constituency on Monday. Voting was held on February 3.

After the first round, Babu had secured 5,251 votes, BJP’s P R Basavaraju (Pepsi) - 4,953 votes — and the Congress’ T N Niranjan way behind with only 496 votes. Niranjan has forfeited his deposit. Two independent candidates - K Nagaraja (1,945 votes) and K Ramakrishna (2,073 votes) — had fared better. Counting of second preferential votes was taken up late in the evening, and at 11.45 pm Ramesh Babu was leading by 1,000 votes against BJP rival. But he was yet to reach magic number. Ballot papers were used in the elections.

As much as  85.46% of the 21,354 voters (teachers) in the constituency spread over the districts of Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, Chitradurga and parts of Davangere had exercised their franchise.

According to the preferential voting system, a candidate has to secure 9,125 votes (50% of total votes polled) to be declared elected. The byelection was necessitated following the resignation of Y A Narayanaswamy. He quit as MLC after he was elected to the Assembly from the Hebbal constituency on a BJP ticket in a byelection.

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