BJP candidate makes Gundurao sweat in Gandhinagar

BENGALURU: BJP candidate for Gandhinagar A.R. Sapthagiri Gowda gave a tough fight to sitting MLA and KPCC working president Dinesh Gundurao. But Mr Gundurao finally won with a margin of 10,070 votes.

There was close fight between the two candidates and at the end of round two, Gowda was leading. In the consequent rounds too, there was a thin margin between the two. But after eighth round, things started changing in favour of Mr Gundurao and he emerged victorious. Mr Gundurao secured 47,354 votes, while Gowda got 37,284 votes and JDS candidate V Narayanaswamy secured 36,635 votes. It should be noted that Gandhinagar, which had remained as a stronghold of Congress, is changing its trend with the victory margin seeing a dip. In 2013, Mr Gundurao won with a margin of 22,607 votes. Except for independent candidate V Nagaraj alias Bomb Naga, who got 1,476 votes, other candidates- M P Yuvaraj from All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazham (AIADMK), Elankovan from AAP polled less than NOTA, which stood at 2074 votes.

How mandates ‘fracture’ BJP chances

This is not the first time that a fractured mandate has hobbled the BJP. During the 2015 BBMP polls too, the BJP despite winning 100 of the 198 seats could not assume power. The Congress, which had bagged 76 seats, managed to win the mayoral elections with the support of JD(S). As part of the quid pro quo deal worked out, the JD(S) was given the deputy mayor post and a few crucial standing committee chairmen positions.

`Katta’s political comeback bid fails

The Shivajinagar constituency has again retained its incumbent MLA Roshan Baig from Congress for the fourth time, who defeated the tainted BJP candidate Katta Subramanya Naidu.

Baig is a well know face in the constituency in general and Muslim community in particular. After BJP announced that Mr Katta will be contesting against Baig, political analysts speculated that this will be one of the toughest electoral battles.

Mr Katta, a former BJP minister, had migrated to Hebbal soon after the delimitation exercise in 2008. He won the election from there and was made minister in B.S. Yeddyurappa cabinet. In 2013, he stayed away from politics as he had to go to jail due to corruption charges. After his jail term, the BJP, which was struggling to find a suitable candidate for Shivajinagar, pitted Mr Katta against Mr Baig. The Congress leader exuded confidence of an easy victory during his campaign rallies. He highlighted the works he had done in his constituency and succeeded in winning over the trust of the electorate. Mohammed Siraj, a fruit vendor in Russell Market said, “It is only Mr Baig who has been helping the vendors and people belonging to economic weaker section.

So we have no choice but to elect him again, as we know he will help us at any time. Remember we are not voting for him because he is from our community, but because he lends a helping hand to the poor people.” Mr Katta failed in his attempt to make an effective political comeback at his old den, where he had won in 1999 and 2004. He lost to Baig with a margin of over 14,000 votes. While Katta got 44,702 votes, Baig polled 59,742.

Cakewalk for Zameer in Chamarajapet

It was a cakewalk for Chamarajapet MLA Zameer Ahmed, who was expected to face a tough fight from JD(S) candidate Altaf Khan. But from the beginning, it was a fight between Zameer, who managed to win by a huge margin of 33,137 votes, and BJP candidate Lakshminarayana, who secured 32,202 votes. While Zameer managed to get 65,339 votes, Altaf got just 19,393 votes.

It was a fight for self-respect at the Chamarajapet constituency as JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda handpicked the Muslim candidate, Altaf Khan, to defeat Zameer, who had switched over to the Congress after rebelling against the JD(S) leadership. Though the BJP had fielded former deputy mayor M. Lakshminarayana, the fight was expected to be between Zameer and Altaf and was pitched as the 'clash of the Khans'. It was also predicted that the straight fight could benefit the BJP candidate as Muslim votes would get split.

It was Mr Deve Gowda who groomed Zameer and turned this novice to a full-time politician. Mr Gowda was angry when his protégé along with other six other JD(S) MLAs cross voted during the Rajya Sabha elections a couple of years ago.

Mr Gowda was desperate to teach Zameer a lesson, while the latter too had vowed to cut off his head if he lost. But the calculations of the political veteran went wrong. Right from round one, Zameer maintained a fair margin of 2,000 to 3,000 votes till round 2 pm, and from then, the margin soared, clearly indicating that he would not be defeated.

Zameer was first voted to power in 2004 and has gone on to win elections in 2008 and 2013.

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