Karnataka urban body polls: Advantage Congress, but will have to bank on ally JD(S)

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The ruling Congress in Karnataka nosed ahead in a majority of seats in elections for 102 urban local bodies and three city corporations in the state on August 29. However, it will have to rely on coalition partner JD(S) to govern the local bodies and corporations due to hung verdicts in a number of places, including two city corporations, where the BJP has done well.
In results announced Monday, Congress candidates emerged as winners in 946 of 2,527 seats in the 102 urban local bodies that went to the polls. While BJP candidates won 875 seats, JD(S) won 375 and Independent candidates won 315 seats.
In the three city corporations — Mysuru, Shimoga and Tumkuru — the BJP won 54 of the 135 seats while the Congress and JD(S) won 36 and 30 seats, respectively. Results are similar to the state assembly polls held in May with the Congress, BJP and JDS performing well in their strongholds. BJP has won the Shimoga city corporation with 20 of 35 seats but is likely to be defeated in the Mysuru and Tumkuru seats by the Congress-JD(S) combine despite winning the majority of seats, a situation similar to the assembly poll results. The BJP has won 22 of 65 seats in Mysuru where the Congress has won 19 and the JD(S) 18. In Tumkuru, the BJP has won 12 of 35 seats, while the Congress and JD(S) have won 10 each.JD(S) Leader H D Kumaraswamy with Congress leader D K Shivakumar. (File photo) JD(S) Leader H D Kumaraswamy with Congress leader D K Shivakumar. (File photo)
In the 21 districts where polls were held to city municipal councils and town municipal councils, the Congress won the majority of seats in 11 districts, the BJP in seven and JD(S) in two, while Independents ruled the roost in Belagavi district. JD(S) won clear majorities in Mandya and Hassan and has a strong chance of coming to power in Tumkuru.
“The Congress has won the most number of wards, but no party has a clear victory. There was talk that the BJP will do well in the urban local bodies. We have, however, done well. There are hung verdicts in some places. Since we have an alliance with the JD(S) in the state government, we will carry forward the alliance to the municipal councils,” Deputy CM and Congress leader G Parameshwara said.
“The Congress has won the majority of seats in the elections. This is a result of the confidence people have in the party. The ULBs have the responsibility of taking the programmes of the government to the people,” former Congress CM Siddaramaiah said.
“Voters have favoured the JD(S). We have got great results in Hassan. People have voted after seeing the performance of the JD(S)-Congress government over the last three months.