Bengaluru, Jun 13 (PTI) The Congress today snatched the Jayanagar seat from the BJP, further fortifying the ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition in the Karnataka assembly.

Congress’ Sowmya Reddy beat her nearest BJP rival B N Prahlad by a margin of 2,889 votes in the seat represented by her father and former minister Ramalinga Reddy four times in the past.

Election officials said Reddysecured 54,457 votes against Prahlad’s 51,568.

This is the second straight win for Congress since it formed a coalition government with the JD(S) on May 23 after the assembly elections delivered a hung House, with the BJP emerging as the single largest party having 104 MLAs.

Earlier it had retained the R R Nagar seat polling for which was deferred following allegations of large-scale electoral malpractices.

With today’s win, the Congress now has 79 MLAs in the 224-member assembly, which has an effective strength of 222.

The JD(S) of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda has 36 MLAs.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had won from two places and had to resign from one, while Congress MLA from Jamkhandi Siddu Nyamagouda was killed in a road accident.

The 115-member JDS-Congress coalition also has the support of an independent, and an MLA each of the fledgling KPJP and the BSP. The KPJP and BSP MLAs are ministers in the Kumaraswamy government.

Unlike the election for R R Nagar seat where the Congress and JD(S) fought against each other despite being partners in the coalition government, Deve Gowda’s party made its candidate retire from the contest in Jayanagar, aiding in Reddy’s victory.

The Congress now has 15 of Bengaluru’s 28 assembly seats in its kitty.

Assembly polls were held in Karnataka on May12, but election for the Jayanagar seat was countermanded due to the death of BJP candidate and sitting MLA B N Vijaykumar. The BJP fielded Vijaykumar’s brother Prahlad for the seat but he failed to retain it for the saffron party.

Ramalinga Reddy had won the Jayanagar seat for four consecutive terms from 1989 to 2004, before shifting to the adjoining BTM Layout constituency. Vijaykumar had won the seat in 2008 and 2013.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.