Five years of scams fail to dent BJP's fortunes

Five years of scams fail to dent BJP's fortunes

Five years of scams fail to dent BJP's fortunes
It’s a dream come true for the BJP. The party has managed to turn the tide despite its scam-ridden five years in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to win a second straight innings in the civic body.

BJP insiders feel the repeated attempts by the Congress to stall the elections and split the BBMP backfired, helping the saffron party create history: win the civic polls right under the nose of the ruling party. The BJP hit a century by winning 100 out of the 198 seats in the BBMP Council.

The spotlight, on the day the results were announced, was on MLA R Ashoka, the BJP’s in-charge of the elections. Ahead of the elections, senior leaders such as H N Ananth Kumar and D V Sadananda Gowda had complained that Ashoka dominated the selection of candidates.

 But once the results proved to be sweet, Kumar and other senior leaders were seen hugging Ashoka and offering him sweets at the BJP headquarters which wore a festive look. Ashoka is sure to utilise the victory to build greater clout in the party. Five-years of the BJP-led BBMP Council were synonymous with scams — from the now infamous Rs 1,400-crore fake bill scam to corruption in the award of garbage contracts to remodelling of storm water drains. The people, however, still preferred the BJP to the Congress.

The Congress’s “negative” approach to the polls helped the BJP despite its murky first innings, BJP functionaries point out. In addition, the saffron party’s sitting and former legislators in each Assembly constituency played a crucial role in the victory. Looking at various Assembly constituencies, the BJP managed a clean sweep in all the six wards in Basavanagudi which is represented by Ravi Subramanya.

The party had won just four wards here in 2010. In Padmanabhanagar, which Ashoka represents in the Assembly, the BJP won seven out of eight wards, improving on its performance in 2010 when it had won just five. The party also did better in Bengaluru South (five out of seven wards), Jayanagar (six out of seven), Shanthinagar (four out of seven) and Mahadevapura (four out of eight).

Bengalureans have favoured the BJP over the last few years. Despite the severe anti-incumbency in 2013, the party won 12 out of the 27 Assembly seats in Bengaluru. In the general elections a year later, it won all the three Lok Sabha seats.

On the flip side, the BJP has performed badly in KR Puram in the BBMP elections, compared to 2010 when it had won eight out of nine wards.

It has managed to retain just three. It lost wards in Malleswaram, Rajajinagar, CV Raman Nagar, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Govindarajnagar, Vijayanagar and other Assembly segments. In all, the party’s tally came down by 11 seats compared to 2010 when it had won 111 seats.  Yet, in the first-past-the-post electoral system, a victory is a victory.

‘Victory precursor to 2018 Assembly polls’

BJP National President Amit Shah on Tuesday said the victory of the BJP in the BBMP polls was a mandate against the ruling Congress and also a precursor to the 2018 Assembly polls. Speaking to reporters at the Kempegowda International Airport, en route on his way from Puducherry to New Delhi, Shah said the Congress should learn from its “mistakes” and at least now focus on the development of Bengaluru. “Bringing in legal amendments cannot win over people,” Shah said referring to the efforts of the Congress to divide the BBMP and thus postpone polls by bringing in amendments to the Karnataka Municipalities and Corporation Act. He said the Centre would continue with its commitment for the overall development of Bengaluru.

Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, Ananth Kumar, BJP State President Pralhad Joshi, former deputy chief minister R Ashoka and several party functionaries greeted Shah at the airport and briefed him about the party’s victory.

G Parameshwara
KPCC president:
It is unfortunate the people have condoned BJP’s maladministration and corruption. We were hopeful of emerging victorious and providing good administration to the City by taking it to the international level. There were no differences in the party. Both the chief minister and I campaigned together. We have to take collective responsibility.

H D Kumaraswamy
JD(S) State president:
The people’s mandate has gone against the JD(S)’s efforts to stymie further blunders. It doesn’t matter who has won or lost, as these elections have signalled that the fate of the City is at stake. The lesson I have learnt is one should not talk about corruption, about those who have encroached on lakes and about land-grabbers. The people’s message is that JD(S) too has to become part of the corrupt system.

B S Yeddyurappa
The BBMP results prove the Modi wave is still prevalent. Impressed by the work being done by the Central government, Bengalureans voted for the BJP. They have given a befitting reply to the Congress’ continued attempts to stall the polls and restructure the BBMP. The push for Bengaluru’s development and the financial support given to BBMP when I was the CM, and the pro-people policies of the BJP have led to the party’s victory.

R Ashoka
BJP MLA and election
The party tasked me with ensuring the victory and I have done it. I worked hard. That’s why the party got good results. All leaders in our party ensured the party headed by the chief minister is defeated.

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