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BJP wins Bangalore municipal elections for the first time

Monday, 5 April 2010 - 2:31pm IST Updated: Monday, 5 April 2010 - 7:03pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: PTI

Of the 198 wards in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) which went to the polls on March 28, the BJP captured 101, gaining a clear majority.

Nearly two years after it formed the first-ever saffron government in the South, ruling BJP today created history again when it captured the prestigious Bangalore City Corporation for the first time winning the civic polls.

In an emphatic victory, the BJP secured a clear majority unseating the Congress and reasserting its supremacy in the country's IT hub.

Of the total 198 wards in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, BJP, which formed its first government in May 2008,
seized control of the civic body, belying forecasts of a
fractured verdict.

With results for 192 of the total 198 BBMP wards available, BJP bagged 110, Congress 61 and the HD Devegowda-led JD(S) came a poor third with 14. Seven wards were bagged by others.

"It's a befitting reply (to the Congress and JDS). The verdict has silenced our critics", an elated chief minister B S Yeddyurappa said, announcing a Rs 22,500 crore bonanza for improving infrastructure in Bangalore in the next three years.

The bitterly fought March 28 BBMP polls were seen as a test to BJP, whose image took a beating after its government faced its worst crisis following a rebellion against Yeddyurappa by a section of legislators in the party late last year.

Congress blamed the poor turnout 44% as the main reason for BJP's victory.

In the assembly polls, BJP had bagged 17 seats in BBMP jurisdiction, Congress 10 and the JD-S one. In the Lok Sabha
elections, BJP won all the three seats from Bangalore.

With today's outcome, BJP has re-established its influence over the city electorate. 

BBMP polls, due for the last three and half years, were held after 100 wards were expanded to 198 by merging seven city municipal councils, one town municipal council and 111 villages.

"All the people, who were criticising the government, should have come forward and voted which was their constitutional right. If they had done so the results would have been different",  Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president R V Deshpande said.

JDS spokesperson YSV Dutta alleged money had played a big
role in the elections and the state election commission has
become "a puppet in the hands of the government".

The chief minister said the mandate was for the developmental initiatives of his government in the last 22 months for Bangalore as well as the entire state.

He also said the government would make all efforts to put in place the Bangalore Governance Act to ensure better coordination and enable empowering ward-level committees. "It will also bring increased accountability and efficiency in planning and execution of works".

"In order to ease the traffic-related problems, we have already written to Ministry of Railways for a circular train in Bangalore and we have agreed to share the cost of this project. We have also decided to build modern multi-level car parking facilities in at least ten important areas in Bangalore during this year", Yeddyurappa said.

BJP national general secretary and member of Parliament Ananth Kumar dedicated the victory to the people of Bangalore and party workers.''The people of Bangalore have blessed us. It is a mandate for development. Now our focus will be on development which is speedy, inclusive and for all", he told reporters here.

"Bangaloreans have entrusted us with a huge responsibility. We will give top priority to infrastructure development and basic amenities and ensure that people of the city are provided with Bijli, Sadak and Pani", he said.   "We humbly accept the verdict of the people. The credit goes to BJP led government by B S Yeddyurappa and the unity of the party", Ananth Kumar said.

Transport minister R Ashok, who was also present, described
it as "first victory for BJP in Corporation in the histroy of
the state".

He said government would soon come out with a blueprint
for the development of Bangalore, not just focusing on
infrastructure development but reducing traffic congestion
in the city.

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