BJP wrests Basavakalyan from Congress in a spectacular victory

Sharanu Salagar defeats Mala Narayanrao by an impressive margin of 20,629 votes

BJP candidate Sharanu Salagar defeated his nearest rival Mala B. Narayanrao of the Congress by an impressive margin of 20,629 votes. The byelection to the constituency, which was necessitated by the demise of incumbent representative in the Assembly B. Narayanrao, was held on April 17 and counting was taken up on Sunday.

Counting began at B.V. Bhumareddy College in Bidar at 8 a.m. as scheduled after the strongroom where the EVMs were kept was opened in the presence of candidates and election and security officers, including Bidar Deputy Commissioner R. Ramachandran and Superintendent of Police Nagesh D.L.

Mr. Salagar registered a lead of 2,174 votes in the first round and continued to increase it after each round. Ms. Narayanrao trailed him till the end. When counting was completed by 1 p.m., Mr. Salagar had polled 71,012 votes, including postal ballot, against Ms. Narayanrao who polled 50,383 votes.

Returning Officer Patil Bhuvanesh Devidas declared Mr. Salagar as the winner to fill the vacant seat after the counting process was completed.

Janata Dal(S) candidate Sayed Yasrub Ali Quadri, who was expected to damage the prospects of the Congress by grabbing Muslim votes that were in considerable size in the constituency, polled only 11,402 votes to stand third.

The former MLA Mallikarjun Khuba, a BJP leader who had, after he was denied party ticket, contested the election as an Independent candidate, appeared to be a major stumbling block for Mr. Salagar in the initial stages of poll campaigning. However, he could not prevent Mr. Salagar from winning the race as was pushed to the fourth place with 9,457 votes.

Abdul Razzak Baba Chowdhary of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, who was expected to grab Muslim votes to inflict a serious damage on the Congress, did not make any impact on any contender with the 2,174 votes he polled.

None of the other candidates, including Independents, could match or cross the votes polled under None Of The Above (NOTA) head which had 889.

The constituency has 2,39,782 voters, of whom 1,47,234 people exercised their franchises (61.40%). As many as 198 votes were rejected. Mr. Salagar polled 48.23% of the total votes polled followed by Ms. Narayanrao with 34.21%.

In the 2018 elections, 1,45,326 voters of the total 2,24,318 cast their votes (64.79%). B. Narayanrao of the Congress had won by polling 61,425 votes (42.27%) followed by Mr. Mallikarjun Khuba of the BJP who then polled 44,153 votes (30.38%).

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