Special Correspondent

GULBARGA: The Congress bagged the posts of president and vice-president of Gurmitkal Town Panchayat with a comfortable margin in the elections held on Wednesday, despite being in a minority in the 17-member House.

According to reports , the victory of the Congress in the town panchayat was because of the defection of four members from the Janata Dal (Secular) to the Congress in the last minute, and the support of the lone Samajwadi Party member.

The Congress managed to win only four seats, while the Janata Dal (S) secured a clear majority by winning 11 seats, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party with one seat each.

A couple of days before the election, four erstwhile Congressmen, who contested on a Janata Dal (S) ticket and won, announced their resignation from the Janata Dal (S) and returned to the Congress, increasing the party’s strength to eight.

Besides, the Congress got the vote of Lok Sabha member Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi. Lalitabai Tiwari of the Congress won the president’s post by securing 10 votes against seven polled by Eashwaramma of the Janata Dal (S). In the election to the post of vice-president, Chennabalappa Niratti of the Congress, who got 10 votes, defeated Balapa Yellamol of the Janata Dal (S), who secured seven votes. The lone BJP member did not participate in the voting. Shivamma Kattimani of the Congress and Rudragowda Sharadahalli, a supporter of the former Minister Sharanabasappa Darshanapur, were elected unopposed to the posts of president and vice-president of Shahpur TMC on Wednesday.