The Congress on Wednesday snatched the Jayanagar Assembly seat in Bengaluru from the BJP, with its candidate Sowmya Reddy winning by a narrow margin of 2,889 votes. According to election officials, Congress' Sowmya Reddy secured 54,457 votes against her nearest rival from the BJP, B N Prahlad, who managed 51,568 votes.
Assembly elections were held across the state on May 12, but the polling on Jayanagar seat was countermanded owing to the death of BJP candidate B N Vijayakumar, who was holding the constituency.
The bypoll was held on June 11.
Prahlad, brother of Vijaykumar, and senior Congress leader and former minister Ramalinga Reddy's daughter Sowmya Reddy were locked in a direct contest.
Ahead of the polling, the Janata Dal (Secular) had on June 5 pulled out its candidate from the contest and extended the party's support to its ruling coalition partner, the Congress.
This was the first election after the JD(S)-Congress combine came to power in the state in which they put up a united fight against the BJP.
Both Congress and JD(S) had fielded candidates against each other, despite being coalition partners, in the recent election to the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly seat in the city.
Congress's Munirathna had won the seat, relegating the JD(S) candidate to a distant third behind the BJP.
Now, following its wins in Jayanagar and RR Nagar, Congress has increased its tally to 79 in the 224-member Karnataka assembly. Even though Congress had won 78 seats after the results were declared on May 15 following the state elections, its strength in the assembly was reduced to 77 after the death of its Jamkhandi MLA Siddu B Nyamagouda. Nyamagouda, who was on his way to Goa, died on May 28 after a truck rammed into his car near Tulasigeri.
The Congress-JD(S) alliance now commands a strength of 117 in the 223-member Karnataka assembly with the support of lone BSP MLA from Kollegala N Mahesh, comfortably placed ahead of the halfway mark. The HD Devegowda-led JD(S) has 37 MLAs. The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party after the Karnataka elections, has 104 MLAs along with the support of two independents.