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Bangarappa wins again; it is JD (Secular) in Chamarajpet

Special Correspondent

Congress candidate loses by a margin of 16,949 votes

BANGALORE: The Shimoga Lok Sabha electorate once again reposed its faith in its hero, the former Chief Minister and Samajwadi leader, S. Bangarappa, by electing him in the byelection held on June 2.

The Janata Dal (Secular) worsted its partner in the coalition, the Congress, and the BJP in the other byelection in the State — for the Chamarajpet Assembly constituency in Bangalore city.

Mr. Bangarappa won the Shimoga Lok Sabha seat for the fourth time defeating his nearest Congress rival, Ayanur Manjunath, by a margin of 16,949 votes. He polled 2,69,489 votes as against Mr. Manjunath's 2,52,540 votes. The BJP candidate, M.B. Bhanuprakash, who was facing a Lok Sabha election for the first time, had to be content with 1,48,803 votes. The Janata Dal (Secular) nominee, L.T. Thimmappa Hegde, was a poor fourth with 54,578 votes against his name.

It is a hat-trick of victories for Mr. Bangarappa. He won the Shimoga seat in 1999 as the Congress nominee. He was the BJP victor in 2004 and this time, he has opened the account for the Samajwadi Party in the Lok Sabha from the State and South India. His earlier victory from Shimoga was in 1996 as the Karnataka Congress Party candidate, which he had floated for sometime before staging one of his many returns to the Congress. In Chamarajpet, the Janata Dal (S) candidate, Zameer Ahmed Khan, pulled off a victory securing 19,943 votes as against his main rival R.V. Devaraj who polled 16,265 votes. Pramila Nesargi of the BJP was relegated to the third position with 9,944 votes. There were 11 other contestants on the long ballot paper printed for Chamarajpet. The Janata Dal (United) candidate, G.V. Ramachandraiah, secured a paltry 115 votes despite some spirited campaigning by the party's State leaders.

However, it was not easy sailing for Mr. Bangarappa in Shimoga. In fact, his margin of victory was reduced from 76,145 votes in 2004 against the same Congress rival, Mr. Ayanur Manjunath. In that election he had polled 4,50,097 votes, representing the BJP, against Mr. Manjunath's 3,73,952 votes.

The Congress had won the 2004 Assembly election in Chamarajpet through S.M. Krishna, now the Governor of Maharashtra, who had secured 27,695 votes against the BJP candidate, Mukhyamantri Chandru, who had secured 14,010. Film star Ananth Nag, who was the Janata Dal (S) candidate, had only 5,052 supporters in the constituency. The Janata Dal (S) victory is thus notable. In Shimoga, Mr. Bangarappa and Mr. Manjunath were ahead of the others in four Assembly segments each. The former secured more number of votes than the others in Shimoga, Hosanagar, Sorab (his native taluk) and Shikaripura, which is represented in the State Assembly by the BJP Leader of the Opposition, B.S. Yediyurappa.

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