Karnataka Panchayat polls: Cong edges ahead of BJP

Karnataka Panchayat polls: Cong edges ahead of BJP

Karnataka Panchayat polls: Cong edges ahead of BJP

Ruling Congress today edged ahead of BJP in the in Taluk and Zilla Panchayat elections in Karnataka, where polls were held in two phases.

In keenly contested polls, Congress has emerged victorious in 498 out of the total 1,083 zilla panchayat seats for which elections were held on February 13 and 20.

While BJP and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda-led JD(S) have bagged 408 and 148 seats respectively, independents have won in 27 seats with CPI(M) and JDU securing one each.

In the taluk panchayat out of the 3,884 seats, Congress has won 1,705 seats, while BJP and JD(S) have won 1,362 and 610 seats respectively. 179 independents are among the victorious candidates. JDU got nine seats, CPI(M) 6, BSP 5 and ohers eight.

Congress is likely to have hold on 10 zilla panchayats, BJP in 7 and JD(S) in 2, while there is hung panchayat in 11 districts.

A total of 73.94 per cent voting was recorded in the first phase held on February 13 while the second phase saw a voter turnout of 69.32 per cent.

Recently of the three assembly seats that went to by-polls, due to the death of sitting members, BJP had won in two and Congress in one.

While accepting that the results were not according to the expectations, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said it is not a referendum against his government.

"I had said during the elections that the outcome of this poll will not be a referendum, but it will be an opportunity to know the public opinion. This poll results clearly indicates public opinion…it is not according to our expectations. We will work more efficiently and effectively in implementing our programmes and fulfilling promises made to public," he said.

In what can be termed as major setback to Siddaramaiah, Congress candidate was defeated in Varuna, his home constituency in Mysuru.

Also hinting at cabinet reshuffle in the near future, he said "there may be a cabinet reshuffle after the budget, but it has nothing to do with this poll outcome."

Reacting to the poll results, BJP state President Pralhad Joshi said,"we have emerged as a very strong second contender. Though not fully satisfied, the results have given us confidence. Congress has not been able to show good performance despite misusing government machinery," he said.

Responding to a question on joining hand with JD(S) at panchayats where there is no clear mandate, the Chief Minister said, "we are open to working with secular parties, but a decision will be taken after consulting with local leaders."

JD(S) that has managed to win Mandya and Hassan zilla panchayat, today also saw another member of Deve Gowda family making a successful political entry, as Bhavani Revanna, his daughter in-law emerged victorious from Halekote constituency.

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