JD(S) sweeps by-elections in Kolar district

Bypoll results: Varthurs hopes dashed as his candidate loses in Vemagal

The JD(S) had a thumping victory in all three by-elections in the district: Vemagal Zilla Panchayat seat in Kolar taluk, Boodideru Taluk Panchayat seat in Mulbagal and the Ward 5 seat of Malur Town Municipal Council.

Assistant Commissioner R S Peddappaiah hands the election certificate to JD(S) candidate L Asha, who won the ZP bypoll from Vemagal in Kolar on Friday. dh photo

L Asha, the JD(S) candidate for the Vemagal seat, won 9,932 of the 23,575 votes cast. Bhagyamma, a member of the Varthur faction, who was counting on winning the poll, came second with 9,461 votes. Congress candidate Kalyani was third (2,213), Rajeshwari of the D R Shivakumar faction fourth (1,656) and BJP candidate Sarojamma had to be satisfied with 313 votes.

Protest, ruckus

The counting began at the Government Pre-university College for Boys in the City at 8 am on Friday. The 11-round counting ended and the results were declared at 9.30 am.
When it was declared that the JD(S) candidate had won with 6,844 votes, a difference of 7,185 votes was discovered between the total votes won by all contestants and the total number of votes cast.

The difference led to members of the Varthur faction and supporters of CMC members and local leaders, among others, to protest in front of the counting centre and accuse officers of cheating. Many of the protesters also verbally abused the counting officer.

Begli Suryaprakash and N Rajanna, members of the Varthur faction, argued with the election officer and Assistant Commissioner R S Peddappaiah and even demanded a re-election. Peddappaiah, however, responded that if a request for re-election was submitted, the matter would be discussed with the Deputy Commissioner before actions were taken.

Both the protesters submitted an application and sat outside the centre, demanding the declaration from being withheld till the Deputy Commissioner instructed.

Police staff guarding the centre stopped the protesters from forcing into the centre. They had to even stop a member of the faction, who tried to sneak into the centre.

Correction

The officers found a mistake committed while typing the number of votes into the computer and corrected it.

Peddappaiah later checked the figures and declared that the JD(S) candidate had won the Vemagal bypoll, resulting in an eruption of joy in the JD(S) group.

The protesters, however, stood their grounds, demanding a review of the voting machines. When the Election Officer allowed it, members of other parties objected. The leaders later withdrew from the counting centre without much ado.

Former minister K Srinivasa Gowda was taken in a procession on the streets of the City, the JD(S) members and supporters carrying him on their shoulders.

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