KARNATAKA

Congress defectors prove a point to the leadership

Staff Correspondent

Winner G.S. Basavaraju of the BJP is a former Congressman

TUMKUR: Defectors from the Congress appear to have made their point in Tumkur Lok Sabha Constituency where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate G.S. Basavaraju won by a slender margin of 21,536 votes.

S.P. Muddahanume Gowda of Janata Dal (Secular) finished second winning 3,09,743 votes.

Prior to the announcement of Lok Sabha elections, both Mr. Basavaraju and Mr. Muddahanume Gowda, defected from the Congress to the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular) respectively and got nominated.

Both are the past presidents of Tumkur District Congress Committee.

Congress candidate P. Kodandaramaiah finished a poor third with 1,77,784 votes. Tumkur was considered Congress bastion. The party has now been relegated to the third place.

As the counting of votes began, Janata Dal (Secular) appeared to be establishing early lead as expected. It sustained the stride till the end of the third round when the BJP gained clear lead.

BJP reached a margin of 49,336 votes after the counting of 84 per cent of votes polled.

But its margin crumbled to 21,536 at the finish.

Samajwadi Party candidate and former junior swamiji of Siddaganga Math Gowrishankara Swamiji won 28,938 votes. He was expected to eat into the BJP votes, but that did not happen. Bahujan Samaj Party candidate and actor Ashok polled 15,047 votes.

Unprecedented security arrangements were made in the background that the district witnessed widespread post-poll violence. BJP activists allegedly attacked Dalits in several parts of the district a day after the polling on April 23. Six platoons of armed police were deployed at strategic locations.

Tumkur, otherwise a sleepy town, suddenly turned Internet-savvy. “BSNL broadband services were jammed.

Never in the past so many engaged with Internet. All our connections remained busy since morning,” said a BSNL engineer.

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