Mysuru: K.R. Nagar JD(S) MLA S.R. Mahesh has scored a hat-trick this time albeit winning by a narrow margin.
The contest in K.R. Nagar had raised the curiosity of everyone as they were wondering whether Mahesh would be successful third time also just like he had won in the two previous Assembly elections.
His opponent D. Ravishankar of the Congress gave him a close fight in every round and only in the final round Mahesh won because he polled more number of votes in the postal ballot. This confusion also led to frustration amongst the workers of the JD(S) as the counting of votes was delayed.
Finally, Mahesh polled 85,011 votes and won by a narrow margin of 1,779 votes. Ravishankar with 83,232 votes had to be satisfied with the second place.
In the 18 rounds of counting, Mahesh managed to maintain the slender lead in most of the rounds. In the first round, he got 4,902 votes and in the subsequent rounds he got 5,361, 3,868, 6,074, 5,743, 6,091, 4,900, 4,517, 3,384, 3,297, 6,256, 4,404, 5,309, 4,351, 3,297, 3,594, 3,695 and 4,724. Congress’ Ravishankar from the first round got 4,662, 4,372, 4,068, 2,792, 4,028, 2,865, 4,343, 5,044, 4,763, 6,026, 3,894, 5,090, 5,525, 3,626, 6,072, 6,342, 4,275 and 4,762.
Though in the initial rounds Mahesh had maintained a healthy lead by staying ahead with nearly 9,000 votes, in the final rounds he started struggling. In the 15th round, he was ahead by 4,584 votes but by the time of 17th round, the lead whittled down to just 1,256. Besides, as the postal ballot counting was taken up at the end, the result of the last round of counting was withheld.
In the 18th round, while Mahesh polled 4,724, Ravishankar was actually ahead by 38 votes recording 4,762 votes. Finally, even the postal ballot votes had to be counted twice and the results announced. Out of the 1,973 postal ballot votes, Mahesh got 1,244 votes and his final tally read 85,011. His rival Ravishankar with just 683 postal ballots in his kitty managed to get 83,232 votes and stood defeated.
Ravishankar had incidentally lost the 2013 polls to Mahesh. This time again though CM Siddharamaiah had pinned lot of hopes on him to deny a hat-trick to Mahesh, the move failed.