Congress workers celebrate outside counting centre in Bengaluru after party wins Jayanagar assembly seat.(ANI Photo)
Congress workers celebrate outside counting centre in Bengaluru after party wins Jayanagar assembly seat.(ANI Photo)

Jayanagar seat goes to Congress, assembly tally rises to 79

Results announced by the Election Commission showed Congress candidate Sowmya Reddy defeated her rival in Bengaluru’s Jayanagar assembly constituency by more than 2,800 votes.
By Vikram Gopal | Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
UPDATED ON JUN 13, 2018 06:29 PM IST

Congress candidate Sowmya Reddy won the election to the Jayanagar assembly seat in Bengaluru on Thursday by a margin of 2,889 votes, taking taking the party’s tally in the Karnataka assembly to 79.

While elections for the rest of Karnataka were held on May 12, voting in the constituency was postponed the Election Commission after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) candidate BN Vijaykumar died of a heart attack.

Sowmya Reddy,daughter of the former minister and senior state Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy, got 54,457 votes, defeating the BJP’s B N Prahalad, Vijay Kumar’s brother, who got 51,568 votes. Crucially, the JD(S) withdrew its candidate Kalegowda from the contest ater it formed a coalition with the Congress in the state.

Speaking to reporters after the results were announced, Reddy said: “I came to electoral politics to serve more people and the people have seen this and the grassroots-level work I have done, especially my environmental activism.”

Voting was held for 222 seats in the state on May 12, in which the BJP emerged the single largest party with 104 seats, while the Congress finished with a tally of 78 and the JD(S) with 37, and the BSP won one seat. Additionally, the coalition, formed even before the final results were announced on May 15, got the support of the two independent candidates who had won the polls.

Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in but could not last beyond two days, resigning before a floor test on May 19 after accusations of horse trading were leveled against the party.

The Congress-JD(S) sailed through its floor test and HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the chief minister of the state. The Congress later won the Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat in Bengaluru and with Wednesday’s victory its tally increased to 80. However, the death of its MLA Siddu Nyamgouda from Jamkhandi in Bagalkot district in a road accident on May 28 has meant that the effective tally is 79. Dates for by-elections for the Jamkhandi seat have not been announced yet.

The Ramanagara constituency will also face another round of voting as chief minister Kumaraswamy, who won there and in Channapatna, decided to take oath as the Channapatna MLA, resulting in the seat falling vacant. At present the coalition has the support of 118 MLAs out of 222.

Meanwhile, the BJP won three of the six seats of the legislative council, results of which were also declared on Wednesday. The Congress managed to wrest the North-East Teachers’ constituency from the BJP after 30 years. The JD(S) won two seats.

The BJP won the Bengaluru Graduates, South-west Graduates and Southeast Teachers’ constituencies. The JD(S) won the South Teachers, and the Southwest Teachers’ constituencies.

Responding to the developments, state BJP chief Yeddyurappa thanked the voters, saying the party would now focus on working for the people. “We respect the people’s verdict and even in Jayanagar we lost by a very narrow margin,” he said.

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