By Express News Service
BENGALURU: The much debated strategy employed by the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), of having a 'friendly fight' amongst its candidates for the urban local bodies (ULB) elections seems to have paid off as the coalition has emerged as winners in 1357 seats out of 2662 seats across the states. While before the elections, questions had been raised about the wisdom in separate candidates for each party, the results on Monday brought cheer to the coalition partners.
Karnataka civic polls latest tally:
Total seats: 2664
Declared seats: 2662
"The results show that unlike what was being speculated, the Congress has not weakened due to the alliance," Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Dinesh Gundu Rao said in a post results press conference. "This shows that the Congress and JDS, with their combined strength, can decimate the BJP," he said. The JDS has won 375 seats across the city corporations, city and town municipalities and town panchayats which went to polls on August 31.
Speaking on the results, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that this clearly indicated that people of the state fully support the coalition government and reject BJP's allegations against the government. "Voters in urban areas are no longer supporting the BJP and that was clearly evident from today's results. They too have supported the coalition government," he said. In the ULBs with fractured mandate, the Congress and JD(S) will together elect president and vice president, he added
However, the saffron surge continued in the coastal areas as the BJP swept four out of seven Urban Local Bodies in the elections in Dakshin Kannada and Udupi districts. The Congress may come to power in three ULB's that have witnessed a fractured verdict with the help of the Social Democratic Party of India's support. The results came as a big shock to Housing Minister UT Khader as Ullal CMC slipped from Congress's hands for the first time in many years. The SDPI, which abstained from contesting assembly elections, appears to have rocked the Congress' boat. Despite not using pictures of its women candidates in publicity materials, three women won on SDPI symbol in Ullal.
Of the three city municipal corporations, BJP retained power in Shivamogga, while it was a fractured mandate in Mysuru and Tumakuru. In a setback to former CM Siddaramaiah, BJP emerged as single largest party in the Mysore City Municipal Corporation. However, the Congress- JD(S) coalition will have a clear majority in the CMC.
"The results are satisfactory but we could have performed better. The party will focus on winning 22 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming general elections," State BJP President BS Yeddyurappa said in a statement.