The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won the bypoll to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) from A Narayanapura ward. The party candidate Vijaya S.S. Prasad defeated Congress candidate D.A. Gopal with a narrow margin of 393 votes.
The bypoll to the ward, in K.R. Puram Assembly constituency, was held last Sunday and the votes were counted at the K.R. Puram First Grade College here on Wednesday. The poll was necessitated due to the disqualification of the former councillor S.S. Prasad for submitting a fake caste certificate.
In the first two rounds of counting, the Congress was in the lead with 670 votes. However, in the third round, the BJP gained over the other six candidates in the fray with a lead of 103 votes. Of the 14,370 votes polled, the BJP secured 7,047, followed by Congress at 6,654, CPI-M at 370, Janata Dal (Secular) at 135.
Independent candidates K. Kumar and H.S. Amanulla secured 136 and 28 votes respectively.
Mr. Prasad, who fielded his wife after being disqualified, told The Hindu he was happy with the victory. “However, we were expecting to win with a 2,000-vote margin. The results show that people have been bought. Despite the attempts made by the Congress, the people have chosen the BJP. It is all because of the development that has been carried out by us.”
A party worker, on condition of anonymity, told The Hindu the state has “wasted the tax payers’ money” by conducting the bypoll. “The former councillor was disqualified unnecessarily on a technical fault.”
CPI (M) candidate C. Ramesh alleged both the BJP and Congress had distributed Rs.2,000 for every vote.
As the results of each round of counting were being declared, the election officials repeatedly appealed to the party workers to not raise slogans and not burst crackers since the election code of conduct was in force. But the party workers paid no heed. Soon after the results were declared, slogans rent the air. Excited BJP workers hugged each other and distributed sweets to celebrate the victory even as the Congress workers quietly left the counting centre.
Though he lost, independent candidate K. Kumar said he was happy to have gained one vote more than the JD(S). “The party denied me the ticket. I contested as a rebel candidate. I only prayed that I take one vote more than JD(S).”