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Congress wins 3 seats, BJP 1 in Karnataka RS polls

L. Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and G.C. Chandrasekhar of the Karnataka CongressBengaluru : The ruling Congress on Friday won three seats and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) one in the Rajya Sabha biennial election for four seats in Karnataka, said an election official.

“All three Congress candidates and one from the BJP won the contest while the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) candidate lost,” an Election Commission official told reporters here after counting of votes.

L. Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and G.C. Chandrasekhar of the Congress and Rajeev Chandrashekar of the BJP were declared elected by the Returning Officer.

B.M. Farooq of the JD-S lost to G.C. Chandrasekhar of the Congress in the contest for the fourth seat, as his party (JD-S) boycotted the bypolls after two of its members cast their votes earlier in the day.

Of the three Congress winners, Chandrasekhar secured 46 votes as against two by Farooq, L. Hanumanthaiah got 44 and Hussain 42, while BJP’s Rajeev Chandrashekar bagged 50, the highest among the four contestants.

“Of the 188 votes polled, 184 were valid and four were declared invalid,” Joint Electoral Officer K.N. Ramesh told IANS.

For BJP’s Chandrashekar, the win takes him to the upper House of Parliament for the third consecutive term after completing two terms as an Independent from the southern state.

Farooq, richest among all the five candidates, lost for the second consecutive time after he suffered a defeat in the 2016 biennial election from a Congress candidate (K.C. Ramamurthy).

Farooq, 51, declared an income of Rs 770 crore in his affidavit filed with the Election Commission on March 9.

In the 225-member state legislative assembly, including one nominated, the Congress has 122 legislators, BJP 48, JD-S 40 and seven are vacant.

Of the 40 JD-S members, seven rebel legislators voted for the Congress, making its third candidate (Chandrasekhar) get 46 votes.

Crying foul play in the election process, the JD-S boycotted the polling when its members found two Congress legislators voting a second time after initially cross-voting.

The two Congress members were Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa and Baburao Chinchansur.

“Election officers are working like the ruling party’s agents. Two senior Congress MLAs, who cross-voted, were given ballots again by the Returning Officer to cast their votes for their nominated candidates,” JD-S state president H.D. Kumaraswamy told the media.

The by-election was held to fill the vacancies arising out of the retirement of incumbent members Basawaraj Patil, Rahman Khan and R. Ramakrishna of the Congress and Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

—IANS

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