Bengaluru: The ruling Congress took its tally in the 224-member Karnataka assembly to 122, winning the Piriyapatna seat by a convincing margin of 2,088 votes when counting was taken up on Friday. The election, which was to be held on May 5 along with other constituencies, was postponed to May 28 following the death of the BJP candidate.
Congress candidate K. Venkatesh retained the seat defeating his nearest JD(S) rival K. Mahadev, while the BJP candidate came a poor fourth losing his deposit. The victory is a shot in the arm for Chief Minister Siddaraiamah in his home district with JD(S) president H.D. Kumaraswamy making the poll a matter of prestige.
Piriyapatna won, Siddu adds muscle
S.V. Krishna Chaitanya | DC
Mysore: Congress candidate K. Venkatesh retained the Piriyapatna seat defeating his nearest JD(S) rival K. Mahadev by 2,088 votes when counting of votes was taken up on Friday. The polling was held on May 28. With this, the Congress has raised its tally in the state assembly to 122 while the BJP and JD(S) have 40 seats each.
It was no easy victory for Venkatesh with the JD(S) candidate maintaining a healthy lead in the first four rounds, But things changed from the fifth round onwards with Venkatesh registering a lead of 1,514 votes and maintaining it till the end. Though, the JD(S) showed signs of bouncing back in the 12th and 13th round, the Congress managed to hold on to its lead and emerged victorious after a nervous three-hour wait.
Many feel the result would have been different, if the election had been held on May 5 along with other constituencies in the state. The Piriyapatna poll was deferred to May 28 following the sudden death of BJP candidate Sannamogegowda.
Venkatesh polled 62,045 votes while Mahadev secured 59,957. The BJP candidate R.T. Satish came a poor fourth with 3,731 votes.With this win, the Congress has won as many as 8 of the 11 assembly seats in Mysore.
For Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who hails from Mysore district, the win came as a shot in the arm with his rival and JD(S) chief H.D. Kumaraswamy making the poll a matter of prestige. Finally, Siddaramaiah had the last laugh.
When contacted JD(S) candidate Mahadev claimed he would have won easily if the election was held on May 5. “If there was a Congress wave, Venkatesh should have won by a margin of at least 20,000 votes. Several factors worked against us including the last minute flip-flop by KJP candidate Basavaraj who backed the Congress, and the tendency to back the ruling party candidate”.
Another factor that worked against JD(S) was the failure of BSR Congress candidate Ganesh, who secured nearly 30,000 votes in 2008 but failed to split the Kuruba community votes this time. He could garner only 5,669 votes.
The Kurubas and Vokkalingas rallied behind the Congress and JD(S) as expected, but the votes of other dominant communities like SC/STs, Upparas, Nayakas and Lingayats got divided among various candidates. Venkatesh thanked voters for electing him a fifth time and said he would make Piriyapatna a model constituency.