Bengaluru: In a morale booster to the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy in Karnataka, the Congress on Wednesday won the Jayanagar assembly seat in the city, defeating BJP by over 2,800 votes.
This is the second straight win for the Congress in the electoral test the government faced since it came to power on May 23, stitching up a post-poll alliance after the assembly polls threw up a fractured verdict.
Unlike in the election for Rajarajeshwari Nagar, where both Congress and JD(S) fought each other, in Jayanagar, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda's party pulled out its candidate from the contest and supported its ruling coalition partner, contributing to Wednesday's win.
According to poll officials, Congress' Sowmya Reddy secured 54,457 votes against her nearest rival from the BJP, BN Prahlad, who garnered 51,568 votes. With the win in Jayanagar, Congress has 15 out of the 28 assembly seats in Bengaluru city in its kitty.
The assembly elections were held in Karnataka on May12, but the poll in Jayanagar was countermanded to June 11 due to the death of BJP candidate B N Vijayakumar, who was holding the seat. Prahlad, brother of Vijaykumar and senior Congress leader and former minister Ramalinga Reddy's daughter Sowmya Reddy were locked in a direct contest.
Reddy, who got the ticket for his daughter despite opposition from sections within the party, has proved his clout in Jayanagar, the constituency he represented in the past, by ensuring her victory.
Jayanagar in the past had been a safe seat for Congress as Ramalinga Reddy had contested and won for four consecutive terms from the 1989 assembly election to 2004.
It is only since 2008 that the seat has gone to BJP's kitty asReddy shifted to neighbouring BTM Layout constituency.
Vijaykumarwon on a BJP ticket for two consecutive terms in 2008 and 2013. Ramalinga Reddy said "the victory margin is smaller than what I had expected." Ramalinga Reddy and Sowmya are said to be the first father-daughter duo to enter the assembly at the same time, at least in its recent electoral history. Sowmya is the eigth woman MLA in the new assembly. With this win, the coalition has the support of 118 MLAs in the 224-member Housewith the effective strength now at 222, factoring in one seatvacated by Kumaraswamy as he won from two constituencies,as also death of senior Congress MLA Siddu Nyamagouda fromJamkhandi, in a road accident.