The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka appears to have held sway over the rural electorate by winning 12 of the 30 zilla panchayats (ZP) and 68 of the 176 taluk panchayats (TP) in the recent elections.
The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) could just win in just four ZPs each. Ten ZPs threw up a hung verdict with no party securing the simple majority. The BJP emerged as the single largest party in 5 of the hung ZPs, while the Congress and the JD(S) secured the highest number of seats in four and one hung ZPs respectively.
The poll outcome brought smiles on the face of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is facing charges of land scams and corruption. “These election results have reinforced the faith of the people in our party,” he said.
The Congress, however, said the results were a “warning” to the BJP to mend its ways. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara said on Tuesday that the election outcome reflected the waning popularity of the ruling party. “For the voters overwhelmingly favour the ruling party in any local body elections. It has not been the case this time,” he noted.
JD(S) leader C. Narayanaswamy told The Hindu that the party performed better than the previous elections. “Though we have not won as many seats as we expected, we take consolation in the fact that we won more seats than the last elections.”
The BJP rode to power in the Davangere, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Kodagu, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri and Bidar ZPs.
The Congress emerged victorious in Chamarajangar, Chickballapur, Uttara Kannada and Yadgir, while the JD(S) gained majority in Hassan, Mandya, Ramanagaram and Tumkur ZPs.