ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Karnataka

Partial Success for Congress

Karnataka

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The Congress has something to raise two cheers about, though it may not quite justify a third. With the results of the much postponed civic elections in Karnataka flowing in, the Congress has emerged as the largest single party in 82 of the 148 municipalities for which elections were held. However, of a total of 3,720 wards, Congress candidates have won in only 1,700, which means that the party has to seek the support of other parties and independents, many of whom are ‘rebel’ party candidates or selfstyled ‘people’s candidates’. Nor will it be able to form the administration in any of the four municipal corporations  Neither the Janata Dal(S) nor the Janata Dal(U) have had much of a say among urban voters and the BJP’s claims of having built up an urban base lie shattered. In several urban bodies the Congress has wrested power from the BJP.

Elections were held for 32 city municipal councils (CMCs), 76 town municipal councils (TMCs) and 36 town panchayats (TPs) in the first phase of elections which were conspicuously violent and disruptive. Worse, there have been reports of rampant use of gifts and other inducement to voters. That there was 70 per cent voting is not surprising, but whatever the reason for the high voter turnout the beneficiaries were the Congress candidates. Even in areas like Maddur, which was under the shadow of the Koujalgi affair, the Congress has secured a clear majority. In the 23 wards of Maddur TMC, Congress has captured 14. In the 35 wards of Mandya CMC, the Congress won in 23 with JD(S) and the JD(U) being distant runnersup with three each. In Bangalore urban and rural districts the party has captured power in three CMCs and three TMCs, including Kanakapura which was once the stronghold of the JD(U) Interestingly the Congress has lost ground in Bellary which had returned Sonia Gandhi to the Lok Sabha. The JD(U) has won a majority in three TPs there and the BJP has surprised itself by its performance.

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