VIJAYAPURA: Sujata Kallimani of Congress won the presidential elections in the Vijayapura Zilla Panchayat on Tuesday. She registered a comfortable victory garnering 22 votes against her rival BJP’s Bhimashankar Biradar, becoming the new president of zilla panchayat. Biradar managed to get 20 votes. The president’s post is reserved for BC (A) category. Prabhu Desai of BJP continues to be the vice-president from the past four years. Interestingly, four ZP members of BJP Bindhuraya Biradar, Mahanthgonda Patil, Kalappa Matti and Jyothi Aski cross voted, followed by two of JD(S)- Ramu Rathod and Kavitha Rathod and independent member Gurugouda Patil who raised their hands to mark the voting in favour of Kallimani.
Sujatha will be holding office for a period of one year, that will also mark the end of five year term of the present body. Earlier, high drama was witnessed as BJP leaders made made a vain bid to stop the bus ferrying four members of their party, from entering the ZP precincts, as they had announced their support to grand old party. As the leaders of both the parties entered into a wordy duel and tried to vandalise the bus, the police had to use mild force to bring the situation under control. Despite being the single largest party with 20 seats in 42 member ZP, BJP could not manage to hold the reins of the ZP even in its third attempt. What’s intriguing further is, Congress and BJP are ruling in alliance for the past four years, sharing the posts of president and vicepresident respectively.
The Congress that played its cards close to chest, managed to win again, despite being short of two votes. Apart from four members of BJP, Congress managed to get the support of two of JD(S) and also one independent candidate to register the victory. Even though BJP managed to get the support of Congress’ Shivayogappa Nedalagi (outgoing ZP president), Umesh Kolkar and S B Patil, who had announced their support to saffron cadre, the trio failed to make a difference in the election. Sujatha Kallimani said, “I am even grateful to those of BJP, JD(S) and the independent candidate who supported my candidature.”