BJP wins Bengaluru civic polls, PM calls it hat-trick of wins

The Bhartiya Janata Party on Tuesday registered its second consecutive victory in Bengaluru Municipal Corporation elections, winning 101 ward, while the Congress bagged 75 seats.

Janata Dal (S) of former Prime Minister HD Devegowda could manage only 14 while Others got eight wards out of the 197 wards for which elections were held on Saturday.

This is the ruling party and chief minister Siddaramaiah’s biggest setback since they rode to power in 2013.

Congratulating state BJP leaders and workers for election results, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude to the people of the city in a tweet.

“This is the first time in 30 years that the incumbent party has won the BBMP elections. These results are a rejection of the Congress as a party in Karnataka and India,” Union minister and BJP leader Ananth Kumar said.

Kumar said the results show the support Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP enjoy all over India. “This is a fitting reply to the anti-BJP propoganda of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi,” Kumar addded.

BJP leader and former Karnataka home minister R Ashok said the verdict is a mandate against the misrule of the Congress state governemnt over the last two and half years. “Congres is dead in Karnataka, Siddaramaiah should resign,” he said.

Polling was held in 197 of the 198 wards on Saturday in which 49.3% of voting was registered, as over 36-lakh of the 74-lakh electorate exercised franchise in the day-long election, marred by some irregularities and rains.

Though the expanded Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has 198 wards, polling was not held in one ward, as BJP candidate Bharati Ramachandra, 45, was declared elected from the Hongasandra (ward #189) after the nomination of Congress candidate K Maheshwari was rejected on August 13 for submitting a fake caste certificate.

The century-old BBMP was expanded in 2007 by including seven city municipal councils and one town municipal council and 111 surrounding villages to increase civic wards to 198 from 100.

Delimitation of the wards on the basis of the 2011 population census with 50% of them reserved for women have forced political parties to field wives or relatives of former corporators as contestants in many wards.

In all, 1,120 candidates, including 197 from the BJP, 198 from the Congress and 187 from the JD(S), a dozen from regional outfits like Vatala Chaluvali Paksha, AIADMK and Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and 399 independents, including many as rebels were in the fray.

In the previous five-year term (2010-15), the BJP ruled the BBMP for the first time by winning in 116 wards, as against 62 wards by the Congress, 14 by JD(S) and eight by independents.