The Congress on Thursday retained the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly seat in Karnataka with its candidate Muniratna defeating his nearest BJP rival Thulasi Muniraju Gowda by a margin of 25,492 votes. Mr Muniratna polled 108,064 votes as against 82,572 votes secured by Mr Gowda.
Congress alliance partner JD(S) candidate G H Ramachandra secured 60,360 votes.
There were 14 candidates in the fray. Election to the constituency was deferred to May 28 during the Assembly elections held on May 12 following Election Commission finding a systematic attempt to intimidate voters by enticing them with cash and gifts.
Besides, in raid in a flat in Jalahalli genuine voter ID cards numbering over 9000 had been seized and this the Commission felt might impair the electoral process. A case had also been registered against 13 people including Mr. Muniratna.
Nearly 54 per cent of the over four lakh voters in the constituency in the city had exercised their franchise. With this the strength of the Congress has gone up to 78.
Actually it should have been 79, but one of its senior legislators, Mr Siddu Nyamegouda, a former Union Minister, elected from Jamkhandi in the recent Assembly elections was killed last week in a road accident.
Election to Jayanagar constituency in the city would be held on June 11. The election was earlier countermanded in view of the demise of BJP candidate B N Vijayakumar.
Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in his reaction, said Congress expected to score an impressive win over BJP in R R Nagar Assembly constituency and it had achieved the goal in the victory of its candidate Muniratna.
While thanking the voters in this constituency in the city, he said BJP had lost important seats across the country including Lok Sabha seats for which by-polls were held and counting taken up today.
‘’This is clearly a setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Today’s result is an indication that BJP is set to lose the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mr Siddaramaiah said.
Meanwhile, reacting to the R R Nagar results, Chief Minister H D Kumarswamy said it had further strengthened the JD(S)-Congress alliance government in the State and it was a clear indication that people were for development and are with the coalition government. ‘’The verdict manifests the people’s resolve to support the plurality and inclusiveness which our state always stood for,’’ he added.>