Congress gets more seats but stalwarts bite the dust (Lead)

May 25th, 2008 - 8:19 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore, May 25 (IANS) Former Congress chief minister N. Dharam Singh Sunday led several Congress leaders who lost elections in Karnataka. But surprisingly, the party won 80 seats this time, up from 65 in 2004. Dharam Singh, hailed by his supporters as ‘Solillada Saradara’ (the invincible leader) and ‘Ajatha Shatru’ (man without enemies), was stumped in his attempt to set a record with ninth consecutive win from his home constituency Jewargi in Gulbarga district in north Karnataka.

He lost to BJP’s Doddappa Gowda Patil Naribol by 612 votes.

Other prominent Congress leaders who lost included former minister R.V. Deshpande; H.K. Patil; M.P. Prakash, who had joined the Congress from JD-S; Kumar Bangarappa, son of Samajwadi Party chief S. Bangarappa; and R.V. Devaraj, considered the right hand man of former Congress chief minister S.M. Krishna.

Dharam Singh’s party colleague from Gulbarga and state Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge won from Chittapur reserved constituency. This is his ninth win - the first from Chittapur and eight times earlier from Gurmitkal.

The most prominent BJP winner is its chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yediyurappa, who humbled former chief minister and state Samajwadi Party chief S. Bangarappa in his home constituency Shikaripura in Shimoga district by over 40,000 votes.

For Bangarappa, it was double whammy as both his sons - fighting each other in his home constituency Sorab, also in Shimoga - lost to BJP’s H. Halappa, a relative.

The elder son, Kumar Bangarappa, was a Congress candidate and his younger sibling was fighting as a Samajwadi Party nominee.

Among the prominent BJP losers were Pramila Nesargi, a leading advocate and former chairperson of the state’s women’s commission from Vijayanagar in Bangalore.

The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) too suffered a huge embarrassment as its state chief Merajuddin Patel lost in Humnabad in Gulbarga.

His party colleague and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy retained the Ramanagara seat by a huge margin of 47,260 votes defeating Congress nominee Mamatha Nichani, daughter of former Karnataka chief minister R.K. Hegde.

His elder brother H.D. Revanna also retained his Holenarshipur seat in Shimoga district defeating Congress rival S.G. Anupama, daughter-in-law of former Congress minister G. Puttaswamy Gowda.

The other prominent loser was Vatal Nagaraj, who heads the Kannada Chaluvaligaru (pro-Kannada party). He lost his security deposit in Chamarajanagar, close to Mysore, from where he had won the last time.

Kannada film actor and central Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting M.H. Ambareesh’s hopes of playing an active role in state politics were dashed. He lost in the historic town of Srirangapatna, close to Mysore.

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