Staff Correspondent

Chitradurga: R. Rajappa has been elected vice-president of the Chitradurga Zilla Panchayat. The post fell vacant after the incumbent, Kenchappa, died in a car accident recently. In the election held here on Friday, Mr. Rajappa (Congress) won by 18 votes. He defeated H. Somshekhar of the Janata Dal (Secular), who secured nine votes.

Mr. Somshekhar quit the Congress just hours before the election was to take place and joined the JD(S).

Six of the 34 members of the panchayat did not participate in the election. They were the same members who quit the JD(S) on Thursday to form a separate group. B.M. Manjula of the JD(S) changed her mind on Friday and chose to remain with the party.