She defeats Satish Jarkiholi to become the first woman to be a Lok Sabha member from the constituency

The BJP won the Belagavi Lok Sabha bypoll by 5,240 votes. BJP candidate Mangala Angadi, wife of the former Union Minister Suresh Angadi, defeated Satish Jarkiholi, Congress nominee in a close fight.

Ms. Angadi polled 4,40,327 votes, while the runner-up [Satish Jarkiholi] obtained 4,35,087 votes. The grand total includes postal votes, votes mailed in by service voters, those cast by officers on poll duty and the disabled and COVID-19 voters.

With this, Ms. Angadi became the first woman to be a Lok Sabha member from Belagavi. She also became the first leader to defeat Mr. Satish Jarkiholi. The KPCC working president has never lost an election in his political life of nearly 30 years.

The lead of 2,903 votes is the smallest in the five elections that the BJP has won in the Belagavi Lok Sabha seat. The former MPs Babagouda Patil and late Suresh Angadi had larger margins. Ms. Angadi’s lead of 3,986 is nearly 10% of the lead obtained by her husband Suresh Angadi who had a victory margin of 3.91 lakh votes in 2019.

The counting process seemed to be a thrill ride for those who were watching on TV or on social media. Particularly, the last hour saw votes swinging both sides.

Ms. Angadi began by gaining a lead in the first few rounds. Her lead was maintained till the 40th round. From then on, the Congress maintained a lead till the 85th round. However, in the next four rounds, Ms. Angadi gained votes and won with a thin margin.

There were glitches during counting in the 84th and 85th rounds. Officers complained that EVM machines in Bailhongal and Arabavi were slow and the aggregation of the results was delayed.

Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer K. Harish Kumar said that these were minor issues and they were fixed immediately.

Shiv Sena-supported MES candidate Shubham Shelke polled over 1.17 lakh votes. The 26-year-old candidate managed to get only 670 votes in 2019.

Over 10 lakh votes were counted in 89 rounds in some of the Assembly segments while, in others, counting was completed in 74 rounds. On an average, around 11,300 votes were counted in each round.

Rajya Sabha member Eeranna Kadadi said that there were different reasons, including hesitation among some voters to come out in the middle of an epidemic, for the lower margin.

Ms. Angadi thanked the voters and the party workers for her victory.

Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, who is related to Ms. Angadi, described it as the victory of the people. Suresh Angadi’s daughter Shraddha Shettar said that the people had paid a tribute to her father, by electing her mother.

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