NATIONAL NEWS

Congress wrests Bengaluru’s Jayanagar Assembly seat from BJP

Bengaluru, June 13: Karnataka’s ruling coalition partner Congress on Wednesday wrested the high-profile Jayanagar Assembly constituency here from the opposition BJP, with its candidate Sowmya Reddy winning by a slender margin of 2,889 votes. Of the total 1,11,580 votes polled, Sowmya secured 54,457 votes against 51,568 by Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) B.N. Prahlad, a poll official told IANS. Polling was held on Monday since elections to the seat were countermanded following the death of BJP contestant B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4, ahead of the May 12 assembly election.
The BJP fielded Kumar’s younger brother Prahlad, 57, in the fray against Sowmya, 35, daughter of former state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, who also won from the neighbouring BTM Layout segment. Withdrawal of Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) candidate Kalegowda from the fray on June 5 in support of Congress made it easier for Sowmya to take on Prahlad and 17 other contestants.

Sowmya is the lone woman legislator from Bengaluru’s 28 assembly segments and the youngest first-time lawmaker in the state. With Sowmya’s win, Congress has five women legislators in the 225-member Assembly, as against three from the BJP and none from the ruling coalition partner JD-S. According to a poll analyst, Sowmya’s win was because of her connect with the young voters. With wins in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru southwest on May 31 and Jayanagar, the Congress tally in the Assembly has gone up to 79, as against 36 of JD-S and 104 of BJP. Of the 28 seats in Bengaluru, Congress has 15, BJP 11 and JD-S 2. Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and several party leaders and cabinet ministers congratulated Sowmya for her victory. (IANS)