Congress scored a resounding victory in the Urban Local Bodies(ULB) polls in Karnataka as urban voters severely punished the ruling BJP for its bad governance and bickering for power.
Billed as the semi-finals ahead of the forthcoming assembly elections, Congress is showing clear signs of returning to power in Karnataka if the ULB results are anything to go by, indicating the voters' mood in the state.
Congress has won in 1,960 wards of the 4,952 wards in 207 ULBs for which elections were held. The BJP has been pushed to a poor second with recording victories in 906 wards, and JD(S) has shown a remarkable improvement by scoring at par with the BJP with 906 seats.
The BJP has received drubbings even in its traditional bastions like the coastal and northern regions of Karnataka. The party has failed to get a simple majority even in chief minister Jagadish Shettar's home turf of Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation. BJP's traditional stronghold and political backyard of BJP state president KS Eshwarappa and KJP leader BS Yeddyurappa too has sprung a surprise as BJP suffered big losses.
Apart from Congress, JD(S) too has overtaken BJP, and KJP has made a good beginning here by winning 34 seats out of the total 176 under various ULBs. KJP won the Shikaripur Town Municipal Council (TMC).
The ULB polls boosted the confidence of JD(S), which was considered a rural based party. The party has made significant inroads into northern Karnataka and Malnad region too.
Yeddyurappa's newly launched KJP made a decent poll debut by winning in 274 wards. It has won 3 ULBs including Shikaripur TMC and seems to have played a significant part in splitting the BJP vote base.
The results have proved a disaster for Sriramulu's BSR Congress as it was routed even in Sriramulu's backyard, Bellary.
Out of seven city corporations, Congress has scored majority in Davengere, Mangalore and Bellary. BJP has emerged the single largest party in Hubli-Dharwad city corporation by winning 33 seats, just one seat short of simple majority. Gulbarga and Mysore coporations have seen fractured verdicts with Congress as the single largest party. In Belgaum, members from Marathi outfits have won in majority of the seats by contesting as independents.
City Municipal Councils (CMCs)
Out 43 CMCs, Congress won 10, BJP 2 and JD(S) 7 and in 43 CMs there is no clear mandate for any of the parties. Congress won Sagar, Udupi, Gadag Betageri and other CMs, the JD(S) won seven CMCs which include Kolar, Bhadravati and Hasan, and BJP won Chikkamagalur and Bagalkote CMs.
Town Municipal Councils (TMCs)
Out of 93 Town Municipalities Congress has majority in 36 town municipalities which include Vijapura, Bannur Gundlupet, Puttur and others, JD(S) won 8 town municipalities which include Nelamangala, Chikkanayakanahalli, Holenarasipura and others, BJP won nine municipalities which include Shankeshwara, Gajendragad and others, KJP won 3 TMCs, as anticipated party has got majority at Shikaripura the home town of B S Yeddyurappa. In 36 TMCs there none of the parties got majority. Polling for Teradala TMCs was not held on March 7 as nobody filed nominations protesting against not fulfilling the demand to make a separate taluk.
Town Panchyats (TPs)
Out of 65 TPs, Congress won 17 including Channagiri, Kudachi Kottur and others , BJP 8 including Hukkeri, Sulya, Thirthalli and others and JD(S) 4 and KJP 3 and voters have not given clear majority to any parties in 33 TPs.