After winning the urban local bodies elections on Monday, the Congress said that the people of Karnataka have accepted the development policies of the alliance government in the state. “People of Karnataka have once again reposed their faith in Congress by making it the No.1 party in Urban Local Bodies,” tweeted Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) are partners in the state government, but they contested the local body elections separately.

The Congress won the elections after securing 982 seats out of 2,664 wards. The Bharatiya Janata Party came a close second with 929 seats, while the JD(S) won 375 seats.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy claimed that voters in the cities, who normally vote for the BJP, had shown their support for the coalition government, reported the Hindustan Times. The BJP won more seats in city corporations and city municipalities, while the Congress led in town municipalities and panchayats.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao said that many believed its alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular) would create turmoil in the Congress party. “The verdict attests to the fact that we have the discipline to make this coalition work in order to decimate the BJP,” he said.

According to Rao, the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) will form an alliance wherever there was a hung verdict, as in Mysuru and Tumkuru. “If we had contested together, the BJP would have lost everywhere but we respected the sentiments of our party workers and contested the elections independently,” he claimed.

Former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Deve Gowda also expressed his happiness at the results. “The JD(S) and the Congress will go together to keep the BJP at a distance,” he said.

‘Stupendous’ performance: Amit Shah

BJP State President BS Yeddyurappa said the party had improved its seat tally in the state. “This is proof of the BJP continuing to enjoy the support and confidence of the people,” he said.

BJP National President Amit Shah described the party’s performance as “stupendous”. He said that the decline in number of Congress and JD(S) seats proved that the people of Karnataka were dissatisfied with the “unholy alliance”.