BENGALURU: The ruling BJP had hoped to do well in the election to 25 Council seats and increase its strength in the Upper House, but as the final results trickled in on Tuesday evening, December 14, 2021, the party’s numbers stood at 11. The celebration in the saffron camp suddenly seemed a wee bit dampened.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who returned from Varanasi after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, put up a brave front, saying, “It is a good result for us. We previously had six seats and now we have 11 seats.’’ But he quickly added, “We were expecting 3-4 more seats.’’
The party’s internal survey had projected that it will win 14 or more seats and it was all ready to celebrate the ‘big win’, considering that the Council polls from local bodies always favour the ruling dispensation.
Add to this, there was much expectation that JDS leader H D Deve Gowda’s meeting with PM Modi would help the BJP win more seats in non-traditional areas. Regarding a tie-up with the BJP, former CM and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy had said that the option would be left to leaders at the local level, which analysts considered was a broad hint that the JDS will help the ruling BJP in a few seats.
Speaking about Tuesday’s outcome, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel said, “We have increased our tally from six to 11 seats. We have done well to win many seats represented previously by the Congress.’’
Asked if the party expected to win more seats, he said, “We had expected to win Belagavi, Mysuru and a few other places. We will introspect what went wrong there.’’
After the final results, the BJP now just one short of full majority in the Council with 37 seats and may have to bank on the JDS to get Bills passed. “If the independent MLC decides to support us, then we will have the numbers,’’ party leaders said, sounding optimistic.