Congress loses Basarkod seat

BELLARY Nov. 10. The Congress lost the Basarkod Taluk Panchayat seat to the BJP. However, it retained the Metri seat in Hospet taluk. The loss in Basarkod has come as a shock to the Congress. The party came fourth in the constituency which forms part of the Kurgodu Assembly segment represented by Allum Veerbhadrappa, Minister for Information, and the Sirguppa Assembly segment, represented by M. Shankar Reddy, Chairman of the Karnataka State Small-Industries Investment Corporation.

The Congress is in power in the Bellary taluk and zilla panchayats. The byelections to the two constituencies were necessitated following the death of the members, Balaveera Reddy and Suryanarayan. The latter was the President of the Hospet Taluk Panchayat, and was shot at during the Republic Day function this year.

The Congress candidate in Basarkod was Marenna, while the BJP chose his son, Anjinappa, as its candidate. Mr. Anjinappa was ahead of his nearest rival, C.R. Ramakrishna Reddy (Independent), by 719 votes. The former polled 2,460 votes. The Janata Dal (S), the Congress, and the BSP candidates secured 1,632, 951, and 771 votes, respectively.

In Metri constituency, Venakatanaramma, wife of late Suryanarayan, was fielded by the Congress. She defeated the Janata Dal (S) candidate, Fakirappa Korwar, by a margin of 600 votes. Ms. Venkatanaramma polled 3,492 votes.

Janardhan Reddy, who recently took over as the president of the district unit of the BJP, said the failure of the Congress to fulfil the aspirations of the people had resulted in the BJP wresting the Basarkod seat. According to him, the BJP, besides highlighting the failures of the ruling Congress and the neglect of the constituency by Mr. Veerbhadrappa and Mr. Shankar Reddy, had highlighted the performance of the party which was in power in the Bellary City Municipal Council. We were able to win the confidence of the voters, he said and demanded that Mr. Veerbhadrappa and Mr. Shankar Reddy resign owning moral responsibility for the Congress's defeat.

The following are the results of the gram panchayat elections in Bellary taluk: Sangankallu: Kumarswamy defeated Eeranna by nine votes; Kuditini: Poramma defeated Lalitamma by 52 votes; Kolur: Swethamma defeated Maremma by 349 votes; Yemmiganur: Dodda Hanumanthappa defeated Dodda Jadiyappa by 148 votes; Hire Hadligi: Hanumanagouda defeated Marenna by 122 votes.

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