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In Karnataka civic polls, Congress wins 509 of 1,221 wards, BJP gets 366

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: May 31, 2019  | 22:03 IST

Bengaluru, May 31 (PTI) Congress won the highest number of seats in civic polls in Karnataka on Friday, in some good news for the beleaguered party which was routed in the state in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections. While Congress bagged 509 of the total 1,221 wards in 56 urban local bodies (ULB) for which results were declared, the BJP got 366 wards, the state poll panel said. The JD(S), which fought the polls alone, won 174 wards. Independent candidates emerged victorious in 160 wards, the BSP got 3, CPI(M) 2 and other parties secured 7. The Congress and JD(S) who are in alliance in the state had decided to go to the polls separately and had asked their local leaders to decide on tactical arrangements at the ground-level depending on the local situation. Results were declared for 217 wards of seven municipal councils, 714 wards of 30 town municipal councils and 290 wards of 19 town panchayats. Congress won 90 wards in the municipal councils, while the BJP and JD(S) won 56 and 38 wards, respectively. The Congress bagged 322 of 714 wards in 30 town municipal councils, where the BJP has won 184 and the JD(S) 102. However, of the 290 wards in 19 town panchayats, BJP won the most with 126 seats, while the Congress and JD(S) won 97 and 34 wards, respectively. The results of the civic body elections, which were held on Wednesday, gave a much-needed breather to the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition in the state where it was battered by the BJP, which won 25 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats. The Congress and the JD(S) had managed to win one seat each, indicating that neither arithmetic nor chemistry had worked for the two as its local leadership failed to reconcile at the ground level during the national elections. The results were said to be the worst-ever performance by the Congress in Karnataka and a record of sorts by the BJP for which the state had emerged as a bright spot in the South with other neighbouring states bucking the trend. The civic poll win, however, has rekindled the workers of the Congress and the JD(S), which were battling fears of defection in the state legislature. Sounding upbeat, state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao said the results indicate that the party was strong at the local level. However, he raised apprehensions about voting machines used in the Lok Sabha polls, saying "such difference in public mandate in such a short gap needs to be verified." "Whatever it may be, people have supported us and has installed confidence in us after Lok Sabha results," he added. Rao said, in the civic bodies where the Congress has got majority, it will form administration on its own, and wherever there is no majority, local leaders have been asked to either seek JD(S) support or to support the regional party, depending on the situation. When 105 civic bodies went to polls last year, the Congress had won 982 wards, while the BJP and the JD(S) won 929 and 375 wards, respectively. PTI KSU RA BN ANB SOM SOM

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