Belgaum: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party embarrassed the Opposition Congress by sweeping the by-election to the three seats of Karnataka Legislative Council from the Local Authorities Constituency, including Belgaum. The counting of votes was taken up in the morning and the results were announced on Monday.
The two other seats where the BJP humbled its principal rival was in Dharwad and Kodagu.
The former Minister, Shashikant A. Naik, was declared elected in Belgaum. He polled 1,400 votes more than his Congress rival Shivaputrappa C. Malgi.
The election of Mr. Naik sparked instantaneous celebrations. Even the first round leads of about 600 votes during the counting of votes gave a clear indication of his victory. Among those who greeted him were Minister for Horticulture Umesh V. Katti and Prabhakar B. Kore, MP.
Mr. Naik, who had represented Hukkeri Assembly constituency in the previous Assembly, lost to Mr. Katti in the May 2008 elections, and was trying for re-election since then. According to Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner, J. Ravishankar, who announced the results, Mr. Naik polled 4,458 votes as against 3,540 polled by Mr. Malgi, the victory margin being 1,418 votes.
Of the 9,191 votes in the constituency, 9,053 cast their votes in polling held on October 31.