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In Hubballi-Dharwad, setback for BJP, some gains for Congress

 The BJP suffered a major setback in the Hubballi-Dharwad City Municipal Corporation (HDMC) election as it fell short of a majority by three seats.

Published: 07th September 2021 03:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2021 03:38 AM   |  A+A-

Former minister Jagadish Shettar and others celebrate the BJP’s performance in the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation polls, on Monday | D Hemanth

Express News Service

HUBBALLI: The BJP suffered a major setback in the Hubballi-Dharwad City Municipal Corporation (HDMC) election as it fell short of a majority by three seats. On the other hand, the Congress gained marginally while the JDS managed just one seat. The AAP failed to make its mark, but the big gainer was the AIMIM, which won three wards.

In the 82-member HDMC council, the BJP won 39 seats, Congress 33 and Independents six. Though BJP leaders were hoping to win over 60 wards, the party failed to cross the halfway mark of 42. It even lost wards in its strongholds - the Hubballi-Dharwad Central and Hubballi-Dharwad West Assembly segments. Of the 50 wards in these two constituencies, the party won 27 while the Congress has fairly recovered here, winning 18 seats.

The BJP will now be banking heavily on the Independents to retain the power in the corporation. Even in the previous election (2013), the party had failed to get a clear majority, but managed to gain power with the help of a KJP member and Independents. However, party city unit president and MLA Arvind Bellad told Express that the BJP will rule the HDMC as they have got a mandate from the voters. “If party members contested as rebels and won, they will return and it is not a difficult task to convince them. The party will focus on development works,” he added.

The AIMIM victory in the Congress stronghold, the Hubballi-Dharwad East Assembly segment, will be a matter of worry for the grand old party. The new entrant put up a stiff competition in other wards too. Congress city unit president Altaf Hallur openly admitted that mistakes were committed in the selection of candidates and Owaisi’s visit too had an impact.

Political experts opined that BJP leaders and workers failed to take voters into confidence as they were overconfident, while Congress approached the polls on an unsure footing. The mixed response and the poor voting percentage indicated that people are losing faith in the candidates, they noted.



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