R. Dharmasena of the Congress won the Legislative Council bypolls from the Mysore-Chamarajanagar local authorities constituency by defeating the BJP and JD(S)-supported KJP candidate U.S. Shekar by 1,168 votes. The seat was earlier held by K.R. Mallikarjunappa of the BJP, who resigned and joined the KJP in March in the run up to the Assembly elections.

The victory of Mr. Dharmasena has come as a shot in the arm for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is still basking in the glory of the party’s victories in the Lok Sabha elections from Mandya and Bangalore Rural constituencies. It is also being touted as a factor strengthening the hands of Mr. Siddaramaiah, who hails from Mysore district.

Mr. Dharamasena polled 3,779 votes while Mr. Shekar polled 2,611 votes after the results were declared here on Monday. Ayub Khan, independent candidate received just 76 votes.

As many as 487 votes were found to be invalid during the counting. In all, 6,466 votes were shared by the three contesting candidates of the total 6,953 votes polled in the election.

Mr. Dharmasena was a clear winner in the first preferential vote count, securing more than the prescribed quota of 3,234 votes. The winner obtained the lead in all the 14 tables in which counting was taken up at the JSS College located on the Mysore-Ooty Road in the morning. Deputy Commissioner C. Shikha, and Superintendent of Police Abhinav Khare were among other officials who monitored the counting process since morning.

Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Dharmasena said that he would accord priority to developing infrastructure in the rural areas of both districts falling under his constituency. He would list out the best and the worst gram panchayats to ascertain the facts leading to the development of the best panchayat and replicate the process in the worst panchayats, he said. There were complaints that winning candidates would forget their constituency after the elections but he would want to prove it wrong.

“I will see that the funds will reach the people in the constituency,” he said. Referring to the proposed amendment to initiate action against gram panchayats that did not convene meetings regularly, he said there was no such threat in the Mysore region.

He would respond to the peoples’ problems in the right earnest and be accessible to them at T. Narasipur.

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