Bangalore goes saffron way

Bangalore goes saffron way

Thumping win for BJP in BBMP polls; Congress, JD(S) routed

Bangalore goes saffron way

In the maiden elections held after the formation of the BBMP, expanding the limits of Bangalore to around 830 sq. km from 226 sq km, the ruling BJP registered a thumping victory by winning 111 of 198 seats.

Hardly 30.7 lakh of the 69 lakh voters in the City exercised their franchise on March 28, the day the polls were held. The BJP has secured about 42 to 45 per cent of the total votes polled, according to a rough estimate.

The Congress, which was highly vocal in demanding the elections to the Palike, came a distant second with 65 seats. The JD (S) managed to win just 15 seats. None of the 17 candidates of the residents’ welfare associations made it to the Council.

In the Council of 198 corporators, elected for a term of five years, there will be 71 women. Of these, 67 have been elected under the 33 per cent quota for women. The total strength of the saffron party in the BBMP Council is 141, if 29 other elected representatives of the party in Bangalore (MLAs, MLCs and MPs) are taken into account. The MLAs, MLCs and MPs too have voting rights in the mayoral elections.

The sweet victory for the B S Yeddyurappa-led BJP government could not have come at a better time when it was witnessing a lot of turmoil within the party. With the voters reposing confidence in the ruling party, the election of BJP’s first mayor and deputy mayor is going to be a smooth affair though there are half-a-dozen aspirants for the coveted posts.

The installation of the new mayor and his deputy will put an end to three-and-half years of the administrator’s rule in the Palike. The BJP had just 15 corporators in the previous council of the BMP from 2001-2006.

The party has maintained its dominance not only in the core Bangalore areas but also in the newly-added areas which include seven erstwhile CMCs, one TMC and 110 villages. But Mahadevpura Assembly constituency is an exception as seven wards of the eight have gone to the Congress. The Congress and the JD (S), which have been highly criticial of the BJP’s alleged maladministration, have to now sit in the Opposition benches. Even if both parties join hands, they can’t get a simple majority. The Congress had to pay a heavy price as it failed to put up a united show during the campaign. The party could not even encash on the pro-urban image of its former chief minister S M Krishna.

The JD(S) ended up with the poor performance despite its chief H D Deve Gowda staging a series of protests against the BMIC project. The party had high hopes that the land losers to the project would stand by it, especially in the three Assembly constituencies coming under the project’s jurisdiction.

Soon after the results, leaders of both the parties started blaming each other for refusing to have a pre-poll alliance. JD(S)’ H D Kumaraswamy said the BJP would not have won even 10 seats if the Congress had joined hands with his party, KPCC working president D K Shiva Kumar said it was the JD(S) which first announced that it will go on its own in the polls.