BJP captures Bangalore; wins all three Lok Sabha seatsMay 16th, 2009 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, May 16 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday captured India’s IT hub, winning all the three Lok Sabha constituencies, including the newly-constituted Bangalore Central.
Though the average voting percentage April 23 in the three parliamentary seats of Bangalore South, Bangalore North and Bangalore Central was the lowest (45.49 percent) in the state, the ruling BJP maintained its winning streak that began in the May 2008 assembly elections when it had bagged 16 of the 28 seats in Bangalore.
In the high-profile Bangalore South, BJP general secretary and four-time winner H.N. Ananth Kumar defeated Congress Young Turk Krishna Byre Gowda by a margin of 37,612 votes in a multi-cornered contest that saw fortunes of both the leading contestants swing back and forth in the first 12 rounds.
The 36-year-old Byre Gowda, a three-time legislator in the state assembly, is also president of the state unit of the Youth Congress. He was hand-picked by Congress icon and general secretary Rahul Gandhi as a last-minute surprise candidate to take on Kumar.
Low-cost aviation (Air Deccan) pioneer G.R. Gopinath was also in the fray as an independent. The Janata Dal-Secular fielded seasoned English professor K.E. Radhakrishna from the upscale constituency, home to several IT and biotech firms.
In Bangalore Central, BJP nominee P.C. Mohan defeated former super cop and Congress candidate H.T. Sangliana by 59,650 votes. JD-S candidate B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan, a sitting legislator from Chamarajpet in the same parliamentary constituency, who cut into the secular votes of Sangliana, finished third.
Sangliana, who won from Bangalore North for the first time as a BJP candidate, crossed over to the Congress and was rewarded with a ticket to contest from the prestigious Bangalore Central for having voted in favour of the Indo-US nuclear deal in parliament last July.
In the other high-profile Bangalore North, D.B. Chandre Gowda of the BJP defeated Congress veteran leader and former railways minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief by 35, 218 votes.
Incidentally, Chandre Gowda joined the BJP on the eve of the general elections to contest from Bangalore North though he originally hails from the coffee district of Chikmagalur.
The Congress could not retain its seat in the adjacent Bangalore Rural, carved out of the neighbouring Kanakapura parliamentary constituency in the delimitation exercise.
Its outgoing member Tejaswini Gowda, who defeated former prime minister and JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda in the 2004 elections, came a cropper, finishing third in Bangalore Rural behind C.P. Yogeeshwara of the BJP. Yogeeshwara lost to former chief minister and JD-S state president H.D. Kumarswamy, son of Deve Gowda.
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