IT city gives Congress thumbs-up

BENGALURU: The Congress came on the top in the city, winning 13 out of the 28 assembly constituencies while elections are yet to be held in Jayanagar, where BJP candidate B.N. Vijaykumar passed away, and Rajarajeshwarinagar, where elections have been deferred to May 28 because of the voter ID card scam.

However, the party suffered a major embarrassment in the defeat of Priya Krishna, who lost to senior BJP leader V. Somanna from Govindarajnagar. The other upset for the party was the loss of R.V. Devaraj loss from Chickpet. But it managed to snatch Hebbal from the BJP.

Though the city had five ministers and a party working president, the Congress could not improve its tally this time. The Congress that had 15 seats in the 2013 polls now has 13, with two constituencies yet to go to the polls. The JD(S) tally has gone down from three to two.  

The BJP saved its face with the victory of Uday Garudachar from Chickpet, but the party lost Dasarahalli to the JD(S) as S. Muniraju was defeated.

The JD(S), which has extended support to the Congress at the BBMP by retaining crucial deputy mayor’s post and a few standings committees, has managed to win two seats –Mahalakshmi Layout and Dasarahalli, as it focused mostly on the outskirts. The party lost Chamarajpet and Pulakeshinagar, from where Zameer Ahmed Khan and Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy won from the Congress. Both had been expelled from the JD(S) earlier.

Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, who secured 97,574 votes, registered the biggest victory in the city, winning by a margin of 81,626 votes. His nearest rival was B. Prasanna Kumar from the JD(S).

The other Congress leader who has won with a big margin is former Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George, who had a gap of 53,304 votes from his nearest rival M.N. Reddy from the BJP, who got 56,651 votes.

Seasoned politicians trounce rookie mayor, ex-mayor 

The current and incumbent mayors of Bengaluru, who contested on Congress tickets, were shown the door by seasoned politicians from the BJP.

However, incumbent mayor Sampath Raj and former mayor Padmavathi did give a tough fight to their opponents. As the counting began on Tuesday, it seemed like both were in a comfortable position. But after three to four rounds, the tide turned against them. In the Rajajinagar constituency, Padmvathi gave a fright initially to Suresh Kumar, who is a former law minister, but he managed to sail through.

Sampath Raj managed to secure 46,660 votes, while his opponent, S. Raghu from the BJP, who has already won twice from C.V. Raman Nagar, got 58,887 votes defeating Raj, the closest behind him. Sampath Raj told Deccan Chronicle, “It was a close call and around 20,000 votes garnered by JD(S) candidate Ramesh split the votes and made a difference. But it was first time for me and a good learning experience. I am grateful to the people of the constituency who supported me and have promised to support me in the future.”

On continuing with his term as mayor, he said, “Now, I should focus on my mayor’s term and work on gaining more trust from the public. This is not the end for me. I have to work harder now, as people have set their expectations higher.”
Padmvathi and Sampath Raj had told Deccan Chronicle earlier that their tenure as mayors helped them know the city well and understand the grassroots problems, which would help them address the problems of the public and gain an edge over their opponents. But in the end, it was seasoned politicians Suresh Kumar and Raghu who breasted the victory tape.

After her loss, Padmvathi told Deccan Chronicle that it was bad luck and she would work harder in the future. Padmvathi got 46,818 votes, while Suresh managed over 10,000 votes more.

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