Congress-JD(S) tie-up arrests BJP's advance

Congress-JD(S) tie-up arrests BJP's advance

Alliance wins 15 seats, ruling party 10

Congress-JD(S) tie-up arrests BJP's advance

JD(S) and Congress workers celebrate after the announcement of the Council poll results in Bangalore on Monday. KPN

The BJP, which was expecting to win up to 15 seats, ended up winning the remaining ten seats as the outcome of the December 18 polls were announced on Monday. The ruling party’s tally in the 75-member Council though went up from 28 to 34—four short of the majority mark of 38. The newly elected members will start their six-year term when the tenure of the retiring members (24 of them) ends on January 5. 

Notwithstanding the below-expectation performance of the ruling party, it wrested six seats from the Opposition, while retaining the four it hitherto held. The JD(S) appeared to be the real beneficiary from the tie-up with the Congress as it gained four seats, besides retaining the one it held. Its tally in the Council moved up from 13 to 17.

The Congress, the main Opposition party, won ten seats as the senior alliance partner in the tie-up with the JD(S). Yet, lost nine of the 19 seats it held out of the 25 vacancies in the biennial polls. The party’s tally in the Assembly thus got reduced from 28 to 19 seats. The alliance, however, appeared to have helped the Congress to minimise its losses as the party recorded its wins in areas where the ruling BJP has been doing well in election after election over the last 18 months, including Bangalore Urban, Chikmagalur, Karwar, Bijapur, etc.

Barring in two seats— Bangalore Rural and Chitradurga— the two Opposition parties had reached seat-sharing understanding for the biennial elections.

The JD(S) won their “friendly contest” in Bangalore Rural at the cost of Congress strongman D K Shivkumar. But in Chitradurga, the “friendly contest” helped the ruling party to win the seat.

The two seats in Dakshina Kannada were shared by the BJP and the Congress, unopposed. Soon after the results were out, Chief Minister Yeddyurappa put up a brave front. He said, unlike the Congress and the JD (S), his party did not enjoy strength at the gram panchayat level. So, winning 10 seats and increasing the tally was a good achievement, he argued.

The ruling party may yet inch closer to the simple majority mark as the term of three nominated members —all counted in the Congress tally of 19—retire on January 20. It gets a chance to bring its nominees to the Council.

When that happens, the JD(S) with 17 members has a chance to claim the position of the Leader of the Opposition in the House as the Congress tally would get reduced to 16.