It’s a mixed bag for BJP in civic elections

BJP workers celebrate the party's good show in the CMC elections in Udupi on Monday. DH Photo

Results of the urban local body (ULB) polls have been bitter-sweet for the BJP: While the party has lost ground in some of its strongholds, it has made inroads where it was traditionally weak.

A comparison of the results of the 105 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) announced on Monday with those of 2013 reveals that BJP has substantially improved its performance. The party has gained 214 seats more compared to 2013.

The Congress tally has come down by 82 and that of the JD(S) by 28, compared to the previous elections.

The saffron party has made inroads in JD(S) strongholds like Hassan, where it has won 21 seats in the five ULBs that went to polls – the City Municipal Councils of Hassan, Arsikere and Town
Municipal Councils of Channarayapatna, Sakleshpur and Holenarsipur (the party had secured only five seats in
2013).

It has made substantial gains in ULBs of Chitradurga and Davangere districts. For instance, the party had failed to open its account in Hosadurga TMC in Chitradurga district in 2013, but this time secured 14 of the 23 seats.

In Channagiri TMC, Davangere district, the party had won only one out of the 23 seats and now, has improved its tally to 10.

But, BJP insiders feel the performance in ULB polls is not satisfactory to achieve its target of winning at least 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats next year.

Though the two polls are fought on different parameters, the party’s performance in strongholds like Chikkodi and Hukkeri has sent alarm bells ringing. In Hukkeri TMC, the BJP had made a clean sweep winning all the 23 seats in 2013, but this time its tally has come down to eight.

In the ULBs in Haveri district, the party won 43 seats, compared to 66 bagged by the Congress.

Party insiders point out that it was a divided BJP that went to polls in 2013. Leaders B S Yeddyurappa and B Sriramalu had formed their own parties - KJP and BSR Congress, respectively.

The party’s image had taken a beating with the fight for oneupmanship resulting in indifference towards governance.

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It’s a mixed bag for BJP in civic elections

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