BJP retains power in BBMP

Palike verdict: A party ruling State loses City civic polls for first time

BJP retains power in BBMP

Bengalureans reposed their confidence in the BJP and helped the party do the unprecedented. The saffron party grabbed victory in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) election from right under the nose of the ruling Congress. Hitherto, Bengaluru voters have always sent the party ruling the state to the Palike as well.

The BJP won 100 out of the 198 seats in the council, securing a simple majority and paving the way for its second consecutive innings in the state capital’s civic body.

The Congress secured the second place winning 76 seats, while the JD(S) stood a poor third securing 14 seats, shattering its hopes of emerging as a coalition partner in case of a split verdict. Independents and others won eight seats.

Once the seat position became clear by afternoon, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, owning moral responsibility for the Congress’ debacle, said his party had failed to expose the “scamming” BJP. But some of his ministerial colleagues said the bid to trifurcate the Palike had proved costly for the Congress.

The SDPI and AIMIM, led by Asaduddin Owaisi, cut into the Congress’ traditional vote bank in about 27 wards.

The SDPI won the Siddapura ward, while the AIMIM did not win any seat.   A jubilant BJP viewed the results as a setback for Siddaramaiah and interpreted it as a vote against the performance of the dispensation ruling the State. Saffron party supporters broke into celebrations as trends as early as 9 am indicated a win for the party.

The JD(S) continued to be rejected by Bengalureans. Its leader H D Kumaraswamy had nothing much to say except that the people were continuing to support the “corrupt” BJP and the Congress.

In comparison to the positions in the previous BBMP Council, the BJP has lost 11 seats, the Congress has gained 11 while the JD(S) tally has gone down by one seat. In the previous Council, the BJP held 111 seats, the Congress 65 and the JD(S) 15.

At least half the council will now have women members, with a 50 per cent reservation for them.

The focus will now shift to the election of mayor and deputy mayor. The onus of fixing the date for electing the presiding officers is on the regional commissioner. The process has to be completed within a month from Tuesday.

A different number game comes into play in the mayoral election. Besides the 198 newly elected BBMP councillors, Members of Parliament (from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha) from Bengaluru, as well as MLAs and MLCs from the city — numbering 52 — will have voting rights.

In effect, the voting strength of the BBMP Council for the mayoral poll will be 250. The minimum strength required for a party to gain majority will now be 126 (one more than 50 per cent of the total).

The BJP has 100 corporators and 22 non-corporator elected representatives, leaving it four short of the number.

The BJP has claimed the support of four independents, including Chandrappa Reddy from Konena Agrahara ward, Lakshminarayana of Domlur ward and Anand Kumar of Hoysalanagar ward.

These members were with the BJP but turned rebel on being denied a party ticket.Mayoral elections will have to be held if the Opposition decides to field a candidate. The Congress and the JD(S) are yet to decide on the matter.

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