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At the end of 12 round of counting, the Congress was leading with 48,584 votes to the BJP’s 39, 970 votes. Party workers started celebrating and bursting crackers as early results indicated a Congress win. And Congress candidate Sowmya Reddy said that support had come in for her even from rival parties.
Reddy’s a daughter of state minister Ramalinga Reddy who’s represented Jayanagar four times previously. He said he expected the vuctory margin to be higher, but added that he isn’t disappointed.
“I was a winner from Jayanagar four times previously and had shifted from the adjoining constituency to BTM Layout, as it includes my home area. Had I contested from the same constituency the previous two times, would have won from there. This time the party high command had given an opportunity to my daughter, I thank them. I had expected the victory margin to be a lot higher but I am not disappointed. It is a victory,” said Ramalinga.
Polling in this south Bengaluru assembly constituency was held Monday, almost a month after state elections which saw a coalition of the Congress and the JD(S) coming to power.
Curiosity about the outcome of the Jayanagar poll is high, particularly after the JD(S) withdrew its candidate, to support the Congress. This was unlike in the recent Rajarajeshwari Nagar poll – also conducted after the state polls – where both parties fielded candidates, and the Congress candidate won.
The candidate who died last month was the BJP’s B N Vijayakumar, who was also the sitting MLA from the constituency. This time around, the BJP fielded his brother B N Prahlad Babu, whose main rival was the Congress party’s Reddy. A total of 19 candidates contested.
Voting was by and large peaceful and the assembly segment recorded 55% voter turnout. It appeared more people than usual voted this time in Jayanagar.
“We are pleased with the way the polls went off. Jayanagar doesn’t always put up a good show in terms of numbers, but this time a large number of people, who don’t usually vote, seem to have exercised their franchise,” said D B Natesh, assistant commissioner (elections), after voting concluded on Monday.
Apoorva Aravind, a public policy maker and third-time voter, said the death of the BJP candidate and the subsequent countermanding had had a definite impact on the electorate.
“Compared to the previous times I have voted, I can see more people at the booths this time,” said who had come from Jayamahal Extension. “Since this election is being held after the state government has been formed, I believe many of the electorate have woken up and given more thought to who they are going to vote. I have been more introspective as well.”