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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Karnataka: After LS poll rout, Cong-JDS bounce back in civic polls

In the results for the polls declared by the state election commission Friday, the Congress and the JD(S) have together emerged winner in 50 per cent of the 1,221 wards in 56 urban local bodies.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru | Published: June 1, 2019 12:29:21 am
Karnataka assembly bypolls: Results could determine fate of Congress-JDS coalition govt (From left) JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao, Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah at a rally in Bengaluru on Sunday. (AP)

In an indication that voting in the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka was largely influenced by the Narendra Modi factor, the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance, which was decimated in the general election, has bounced back with a strong performance in the urban local body polls held on May 29.

In the results for the polls declared by the state election commission Friday, the Congress and the JD(S) have together emerged winner in 50 per cent of the 1,221 wards in 56 urban local bodies. The Congress has won 509 wards and the JDS 174 wards, while the BJP has won in 366 wards.

Out of the 217 city municipal wards in seven city municipal councils, the Congress won 90, the JDS 38 and the BJP 56. The Congress is now in a position to govern six of the seven councils. Out of 714 town municipal wards in 30 town municipal councils, the Congress won 322, the JDS 102 and the BJP 184. The Congress-JDS alliance is now in a position to govern 19 of the 30 town municipal councils.

Also, out of the 290 town panchayat wards in 19 town panchayats, the Congress has won 97, the JDS 34 and the BJP 126. The alliance has a majority in six of the 19 towns and the BJP in four.

Coming close on the heels of the Lok Sabha poll results, where the BJP won 25 of 28 seats in the state, the urban local body election results are a huge relief for the Congress. The Congress and JD(S) won one Lok Sabha seat each.

“The urban local body elections were held within a month of the Lok Sabha polls and soon after the election results. When we look at the way people have supported the Congress in the urban local bodies, it gives us a lot of joy. It shows that the Congress remains strong at the grassroots,’’ state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao said on Friday.

“The BJP’s claim that the Congress was in tatters and that the Congress-JDS alliance had lost the confidence of the electorate has been disproved by these results. Each election has its own character and these results show that the outcome of an assembly poll cannot be predicted,’’ he said.

Based on results in the Lok Sabha polls, state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa had recently called for dissolution of the Assembly and conduct of fresh elections. He had cited the strong performance of the BJP in 177 of the 224 assembly segments in Karnataka.

“We were very concerned after the Congress won only one seat in the Lok Sabha polls. This result gives us confidence to believe that people still support us,” Rao said.

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