गुलबर्गा Gulbarga (GR): Senior Congress leader and outgoing Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge has retained the Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency with a resounding victory over the former Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Revu Naik Belamagi.
Mr. Kharge, who established a good lead in the first round of counting, built it up steadily in all the 19 rounds and won with a handsome margin of 74,733 votes. His margin in 2009 was just over 13,400 votes.
Mr. Kharge established substantial leads in five out of the total eight Assembly segments in the constituency.
While the Gulbarga North Assembly constituency represented by Municipal Administration and Waqf Minister Qamarul Islam gave him a lead of 27,503 votes, the Gurmitkal Assembly segment represented by Textile Minister Baburao Chavan gave him a lead of 19,090 votes.
His lead in the Sedam Assembly segment represented by Medical Education Minister Sharanprakash Patil was 18,836 votes, and in the Chittapur Assembly segment represented by Priyank Kharge was 14,339 votes.
He also had a slender lead of 269 votes in the Gulbarga South Assembly segment represented by the BJP’s Dattatreya Patil Revoor. Mr. Belamagi had a lead of 4,125 votes in Afzalpur represented by Congress’ Malikayya Guttedar. His lead in the Jewargi Assembly constituency represented by Congress’ Ajay Singh was 1,038 votes and in the Gulbarga Rural Assembly constituency represented by G. Ramakrishna was 84 votes. The BJP also got a lead of 67 votes in the postal ballots.
The Aam Aadmi Party candidate and the former Minister B.T. Lalitha Naik lost the deposit as she got just 9,074 votes. Janata Dal (Secular) candidate D.G. Sagar got 15,690 votes.
As many as 9,888 votes have been cast in favour of NOTA. Congress activists and supporters of Mr. Kharge distributed sweets outside the main campus of Gulbarga University.