Jamkhandi: The sympathy factor helped Congress candidate Anand Nyamegouda, son of former MLA Siddu Nyamegouda who died in a road accident, win the Jamkhandi Assembly by-election by a comfortable margin of 39,480 votes.

It was no doubt a vote for his father who built the Chakkapadasalagi barrage for irrigation by uniting thousands of farmers without depending on the government. The youth factor too helped the thirty-six year-old Congress leader to garner more votes and defeat sixty-nine-year old RSS loyalist Shrikant Kulkarni of the BJP.

Former CM Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao did their bit to ensure Anand’s victory by resolving the rebel factor which helped the party increase its victory margin.
Many rebels including Kuruba leader Shrishail Dalwai fully supported the Congress enabling the party to keep its vote bank intact.

The Ganiga sect of Lingayats, to which Anand Nyamegouda belongs, Muslims and Dalits backed him with the record 81.58 voting percentage coming to the advantage of the Congress.

Meanwhile, local BJP leaders claimed that the defeat of their candidate Shrikant Kulkarni happened due to the sympathy wave in favour of the Congress. They alleged that party leaders including Jagadish Shettar, who belongs to the region, did not campaign enough in the constituency while State BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa could not spend enough time in Jamkhandi.

Kulkarni sought votes saying it was his last election but it did not help him much nor did the support of rebel BJP leader Sangamesh Nirani as there was resentment among his supporters that Kulkarni did not take them into confidence.

After his victory, Anand Nyamegaouda told reporters that he will continue the developmental works of his father and also realize his dream by implementing pending irrigation projects. ‘This is not just my victory, but the victory of my father and the people of Jamkhandi taluk too. Voters have paid a great tribute to my father by ensuring my victory in the election’, he said.

Meanwhile, BJP candidate Srikant Kulkarni accused the Congress of luring voters with money and by misusing the official machinery. Refuting the charge that party leaders did not campaign properly, he said that he will not contest elections in future.

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