Constituency watch: Karnataka

The Congress on Thursday chose the former MP C. Narayanaswamy as its candidate for the Bangalore North Lok Sabha constituency after he registered a convincing win in the primary election.

Returning officer for the Bangalore North primary Nitin Kumbalkar told The Hindu that the official announcement of Mr. Narayanaswamy’s candidature would be made soon by the Central Election Committee.

With this, Mr. Narayanaswamy, who joined the Congress seven months ago from the Janata Dal (Secular), will take on the former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda of the BJP in Bangalore North. The JD(S) is yet to announce its candidate for this constituency.

On Thursday, Mr. Narayanaswamy defeated G.C. Chandrashekar, political secretary to the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara by a margin of 66 votes. The other two candidates — IIMB professor M.V. Rajeev Gowda and the former MLA N.L. Narendra Babu bagged 69 and 40 votes respectively.

Preferential voting

Of the 478 eligible voters, 359 Congress workers exercised their franchise and 24 of these were declared invalid. Mr. Narayanaswamy bagged 189 votes, including the second preferential votes, Mr. Kumbalkar said.

He said the second preferential votes were taken into consideration because none of the four candidates secured more than 50 per cent of the total first preference votes polled.

“Each voter was allowed to mark his first and second preference for the candidature. The first preference vote carried one point and the second preference half a point,” he said.

The primary saw some disruption, as a bus carrying Congressmen from the Yeshwantpur Assembly constituency reached the election venue 10 minutes after the polling began. The workers, who explained to the returning officers that they were stuck in traffic, entered into a scuffle with other party workers at the polling station. They left without voting as the returning officers denied them permission.

Polling started after an oath was administered to the workers that the winning candidate would get the support of all of them during the election. At a party workers’ convention prior to the polling, the four candidates were given a chance to speak for 10 minutes each.

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