Karnataka Congress chief Parameshwara loses

Bangalore, May 8 (IANS) He may have helped steer the Congress win in Karnataka but the party’s state unit president G. Parameshwara Wednesday lost to the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) from the Koratagere assembly constituency.

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, an aspirant for the chief minister’s post, got 54,074 votes, losing by 18,155 votes to JD-S nominee P.R. Sudhakara Lal, who polled 72,229 votes.

BJP candidate Peddaraju, who got 3,088 votes, trailed Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) nominee Chandaiah Valle who stood third with 15,738 votes.

“I respect the mandate and gracefully accept the people’s verdict. I have to find out what went wrong. One of the reasons could be my absence from my home constituency for long periods since I became the party’s state unit chief in October 2010 and was preoccupied with building the party,” Parameshwara told reporters at Koratagere after the result was officially declared.

Parameshwara, a Dalit, was a minister in the then Congress government when former external affairs minister S.M. Krishna was the chief minister from October 1999 to April 2004.

He led the Congress campaign in the assembly election and helped it return to power after seven years by ensuring a simple majority of 122 seats in the 225-member assembly.

Though the state assembly has 224 elected seats, polling was held in 223 segments across the state as election in one constituency (Periyapatna) was postponed following the death of the BJP candidate April 29.

The state assembly has one nominated member from the Anglo-Indian community.

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