BJP wrests the seat from Congress with a margin of 1.81 lakh votes

Shobha Karandlaje of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wrested the Udupi-Chikmagalur parliamentary seat from the Congress by defeating its candidate, K. Jayaprakash Hegde, by a margin of 1,81,643 votes here on Friday.

Ms. Karandlaje secured 5,81,168 votes, while Mr. Hegde got 3, 99,525 votes. Ms. Karandlaje, who established the lead over Mr. Hegde in the first round, maintained it throughout the 18 rounds.

Mr. Hegde had won the seat in a by-election to the constituency in March 2012 by defeating the BJP’s V. Sunil Kumar by a margin of 45,724 votes.

There were 11 candidates in the fray for the parliamentary polls in the constituency. But the rest of the nine candidates lost their deposits. V. Dhananjaya Kumar [JD(S)] got 14,895 votes, while S. Vijaya Kumar of CPI got 9,691 votes, Zakir Hussain of BSP, 7,449 votes; Gurudev S.H. of AAP, 6,049 votes; and C.H. Jagannath of CPI(Marxist-Leninist) Red Star got 1,612 votes.

The votes polled by the independent candidates were as follows: Mainuddin Khan, 1,214; Manjunath A.G., 1,089; Srinivasa Poojary, 1,899; and Sudheer Kanchan, 1,689.

As many as 7,828 voters opted for None of The Above (NOTA). The NOTA votes were the fifth highest after the BJP, the Congress, the JD(S) and the CPI. The NOTA votes were more than the votes secured by the BSP or the AAP candidates. The BJP led in all eight Assembly segments in the constituency. The votes secured by the Congress and the BJP in the eight Assembly segments are as follows — Kundapur: Congress – 53,644 votes, BJP – 85,110 votes; Udupi: Congress – 54,911 votes, BJP – 87,585 votes; Kaup: Congress – 47,098 votes, BJP – 74,899 votes; Karkala: BJP- 48,579 votes, Congress – 80,030 votes; Sringeri: Congress – 47,448 votes, BJP – 64,192 votes; Mudigere: Congress – 41,152 votes, BJP – 58,128 votes; Chikmagalur: Congress – 55,143 votes, BJP – 69,728 votes; Tarikere: Congress – 51,241, BJP – 60,778 votes.

Of the 1,050 postal ballots, Ms. Karandlaje got 718, while Mr. Hegde got 309. As many as 226 postal ballots were rejected.

As soon as the BJP workers came to know about Ms. Karandlaje’s victory, they started beating drums outside the counting centre. They shouted slogans in her favour, when she arrived at the counting centre.