BENGALURU: When Housing Minister M Krishnappa was finally declared the winner and handed over the certificate by the Returning Officer at SSMRV College in Jayanagar, he was totally grim faced. One could have misunderstood him for actually losing the elections in Vijayanagar constituency on Tuesday. Neither were the veteran politicians supporters in a jubilant mood.
Krishnappa was the only winning candidate out of six constituencies who had to suffer a rollercoaster experience before being declared the winner. He literally won the race towards the fag end of the day by securing a victory margin of 2,775 votes over his rival, BJP candidate and former corporator H Ravindra.
Having won both previous elections by big margins, something similar was expected this time. He beat BJP’s V Somanna in 2013 by 32,642 votes and BJP’s Premila Nesargi in 2008 by 38,625 votes. Krishnappa, a Vokkaliga easily beat Lingayat leader Sommana last time. The BJP seemed to have learnt its lessons and fielded a Vokkaliga this time.
The day proved to be a tense affair for most of his supporters. When results of the counting first started and the initial figures started trickling out, the BJP candidate was ahead of him by 2,055 votes. An hour later, the gap was narrowed down and Ravindra was just 175 votes ahead of him. Meanwhile, his supporters kept on coming over to newspersons and repeatedly kept asking everyone around every few minutes if Krishnappa had gone ahead. However, his opponent’s lead only increased and the margin became 954 votes. Meanwhile, the boisterous celebrations and victory lap of Minister Ramalinga Reddy’s supporters and that of other four winning BJP candidates only enhanced the tension of the Krishnappa camp.
Finally, a glimmer of hope arrived after the 13th round of counting and he was leading by 483 votes. The lead slowly increased and by the 16th round, Krishnappa was ahead by 1,443 votes. After two more rounds of counting, he had finally secured 73,353 votes and beat Ravindra by 2,775 votes. It was only then that Krishnappa made his appearance at the centre.