The electoral contests in several high profile seats in Karnataka petered out into one-sided battles between the local stalwarts and their nearest rival. Only the Chikkaballapur constituency where three heavyweights were in the fray witnessed a close battle that eventually saw the UPA’s oil and natural gas minister Veerappa Moily emerge victorious by 9,520 votes over B N Bachegowda of the BJP, while ex-CM H D Kumaraswamy of the JDS came third.
Moily who was up against an anti-incumbency wave and anger over failure to fulfil promises made in 2009 benefitted hugely from the split between Bache Gowda and Kumaraswamy in the votes of large Vokkaliga community in the constituency. The counting of votes in Chikkaballapur followed an up and down pattern where Bachegowda was leading more often than Moily before the UPA minister surged ahead in final rounds of counting.
The high profile battle in the Bangalore South constituency between the BJP’s H N Ananth Kumar and the Congress party newbie Nandan Nilekani turned into a no contest with Kumar registering a victory 2.29 lakh marging victory.
“I am humbled to have been part of this extraordinary process. I respect the choice that the voters have made. I may not have the opportunity to serve you as an MP but my work for Bengaluru continues,’” the Infosys co-founder said after accepting defeat. Ananth Kumar said that it was the development work carried out by him that had helped him win a sixth term from Bangalore South. “Nandan Nilekani was not my rival, the Congress party was my rival,” he said.
Ananth Kumar and the BJP state president Prahlad Joshi (in Dharwad) shrugged away attacks made against them by Sri Rama Sene leader Pramod Muttalik who entered the poll fray after he was refused entry by the BJP.
Muttalik lost his deposit both in Bangalore South and Dharwad.
In other high profile constituencies in Karnataka former prime minister H D Devegowda won by a comfortable one lakh margin in Hassan. Former BJP chief minister B S Yeddyurappa won by a huge margin of 3.6 lakh votes on his home turf in Shimoga.
Senior UPA minister Mallikarjun Kharge won by a margin of 74,733 votes in Gulbarga while another UPA minister K H Muniyappa won by 47850 votes in Kolar. One of the biggest defeats in the polls was that of former Congress chief minister Dharam Singh at the hands of BJP first timer Bhagwant Khuba in the Bidar seat.