The Congress on Monday won the urban local bodies elections in Karnataka after securing 982 seats out of total 2,664 wards. The Bharatiya Janata Party came second with 929 seats. The election to 45 seats in three town panchayats in Kodagu district was postponed because of the recent floods.
The Janata Dal (Secular), which did not contest the elections in alliance with the Congress, won 375 seats. The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) form the coalition government in Karnataka.
The BJP won more seats in city corporations and city municipalities, while the Congress was leading in town municipalities and panchayats. In three city corporations of Mysuru, Shivamogga and Tumakuru, the BJP won 54 out of 135 seats.
Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa said his party had performed “below expectations”. However, he said that the municipal polls results will have no impact on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, News18 reported.
Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda said his party would go into a post-poll alliance with the Congress in seats where there is a hung verdict. “Whatever the BJP might say, they are declining,” Gowda told News18. “Together, we [Congress-JDS] have won over 50% seats and will form local governments in over 125 places. But it is not an indication of what is likely to happen in the Lok Sabha elections next year.”
Around 64% of the registered voters had turned up to cast their votes. Apart from the three city corporations, 29 city municipalities, 53 town municipalities and 20 town panchayats went to the polls. Elections in other urban local bodies are likely to be held in November.
In the city corporations, 814 candidates were in the fray. The BJP fielded 130 candidates, the Congress put up candidates in all 135 wards, and the JD(S) fielded candidates in 129 seats. As many as 350 independent candidates contested the elections.
The “none of the above” option was used for the first time during these elections, The New Indian Express reported.