Council bypolls: Congress wins two of three seats

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DHARMASENABangalore, August 27:  The Congress, still basking in the glory of the two Lok Sabha byelection victories on Saturday, had another reason to rejoice on Monday: the party won two of the three Legislative Council seats for bypolls were held.

Congress won the Council seats from the local authorities’ constituencies of Dharwad (Nagaraj Chabbi) and Mysore-Chamarajanagar (Dharmasena), while the Chitradurga-Davangere seat went to an Independent Raghu Achar.

Though the byelection results do not take the Congress tally in Council anywhere close to that of the Bharatiya Janata Party — now 19 and 39, respectively — the elections had generated curiosity because of the coming together of the Janata Dal (Secular), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) against the Congress.

The term of the new entrants into the Council will be less than three years.

The elections were necessitated because of the resignation of three Council members.

In Chitradurga, Thippa Reddy from the BJP resigned from his post to contest the Assembly elections in May. Shivaraj Sajjan (Dharwad) and K.R. Mallikarjunappa (Mysore), both earlier with the BJP, resigned after crossing over to the KJP.

A setback for others

In Dharwad, in what is being seen as a setback to the former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and the BJP-KJP alliance, his younger brother Pradeep Shettar lost by a margin of 43 votes. There was confusion for sometime over the results because of the thin victory margin.

In Chitradurga, Mr. Achar won by a margin of 223 votes defeating his nearest rival K.S. Naveen of the BJP. In Mysore, Mr. Dharmasena defeated U.S. Shekar of the KJP by a margin of 1,168 votes.

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