Ramesh Babu of JD(S) eases to win in Legislative Council byelection

Ramesh Babu of JD(S) eases to  win in Legislative Council byelection

JD(S) candidate Ramesh Babu was declared elected to the Southeast Teachers’ constituency in the Legislative Council on Tuesday after counting of the second preferential votes. The seat was earlier held by the BJP.

The counting of votes, that was taken up at the Government Arts College here on Monday, went on till the early hours of Tuesday. Babu defeated his nearest rival P R Basavaraju (Pepsi) of the BJP by a margin of 3,815 votes (after transfer and conversion of second preferential votes).

Congress’s T N Niranjan lost his deposit as he secured only 496 first preferential votes.
According to the preferential voting system, a candidate has to secure 9,125 votes (50% of total votes polled) to be declared elected. Babu secured 5,251 first preferential votes and Basavaraju 4,953. Counting of second preferential votes was then taken up late in the evening. At the end the counting process, Babu secured 10,014 votes and Basavaraju 6,199.

Regional Commissioner M V Jayanthi, the returning officer, declared Babu elected. Fifty-one-year-old Babu will have term till June 21, 2018. Babu, an advocate, has been associated with the erstwhile Janata Party and later the JD(S) for the last three decades.

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 exercised their franchise.

The by-poll was necessitated following the resignation of Y A Narayanaswamy, who was representing the constituency. He quit as MLC after he was elected to the Assembly from the Hebbal constituency on a BJP ticket in a by-election in 2016. 

‘JD(S) still counts’
Welcoming the result, state JD(S) president H D Kumaraswamy said the victory has sent a strong message to the ruling Congress and the BJP that the JD(S) is still relevant.

Kumaraswamy said BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa, during the campaign, had said the result would be a pointer to the next Assembly elections.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah often used to say that the JD(S) has lost its relevance. “The victory has shown that teachers have trust in our party. It will enthuse us to work better.”

When asked how he could keep away from campaigning despite being the president, Kumaraswamy said, “The party rebel candidate Aravind had requested me not to campaign.

But the party MLCs did campaign. I have nothing against Ramesh. If I had campaigned, then he would have won in the first round itself.”
DH News Service

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