BENGALURU: During the election, Kambara secured 56 of the 89 votes polled by members of the general council to elect the president of the Akademi and emerged as the winner. Prathiba Ray, who was also a favourite in the run-up to the elections, secured 29 votes, and Bhalanchandra got four of all the votes polled. Kambara, is the third Kannada writer to be elected president of the Akademi, and the first in the past 25 years.
The first Kannada writer to head the Akademi was Jnanpith winner Vinayak Krishna Gokak in 1983. In 1993, another eminent writer and Jnanpith winner U R Ananthmurthy was elected to head the Akademi in 1993. Kambara, prior to his elevation as president, was formerly the vice president of the Akademi. He was also the first vicechancellor of Kannada University in Hampi, and has carved his own niche in Kannada literature.