Sumangla Gubaji, a BJP member but supporter of BSR Congress, was dethroned as president of the Bellary Zilla Panchayat on Wednesday after a no-confidence motion, moved by the Congress, was passed.

This comes as a severe blow to the BSR Congress, launched by B. Sriramulu, a close associate of jailed mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy.

The no-confidence motion was put to vote at the special general body meeting convened here with Mamta Suresh, vice-president of the ZP, in the chair.

As many as 18 members, with 16 from the Congress and one each from BJP and Janata Dal (S), voted in favour of the no-confidence motion while 17 members from the BJP, but supporting BSR Congress, voted against it.

Kogali Rathnamma of the BJP, supporting the no-confidence motion, violating the party whip, gave the Congress the needed simple majority.

In the total 36-member house, 35 members were present with one seat lying vacant with the resignation tendered by Bheema Nayak on becoming MLA.

What came as surprise was that five Congress members, who had supported the candidature of Sumangla, violating the whip issued by the party, were signatories to the no-confidence motion and also supported it.

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