The Congress, expected to take control of over two dozen urban local bodies, is seeing the results as an indication of the things to come during the 2023 general elections.

A person getting his finger marked with indelible ink after votingImage for representation/PTI
news Elections Friday, December 31, 2021 - 09:36
Written by  PTI

Congress has outperformed the ruling BJP in the polls held for 58 urban local bodies (ULBs) spread across 20 districts in Karnataka, for which results were declared on Thursday, December 30. Out of a total 1,184 wards that went for polls from these ULBs on Monday, the Congress won in 501 while the BJP managed to win in 433 and JD(S) in 45, the State Election Commission said. According to the SEC, the remaining 205 seats were bagged by independents and smaller parties.

The results are being seen as a warning bell for the BJP ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls, and as signs of anti-incumbency, even as the party maintained the losses occurred in places where minority voters were concentrated. In what is also being viewed as a personal setback to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, the Congress managed to retain Bankapur town municipal council and Guttal town panchayat, in his home constituency of Shiggaon. The BJP has also lost urban local bodies in the home turf of a couple of Ministers like B Sriramulu's Nayakanahatti town panchayat.

The Congress, which is expected to take control of over two dozen ULBs, is seeing the results as an indication of the things to come during the 2023 general elections. Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah said the results are the reflection of the BJP's "hopeless governance". The Congress termed its victory as a "clear indication" that issues such as anti-conversion laws do not strike a chord with the people of the southern state, who are "waiting to throw out the BJP government".

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra greeted party workers and leaders in Karnataka for the "spectacular performance" in the local body elections.

Meanwhile, Randeep Singh Surjewala, who is in-charge of Congress affairs in Karnataka, congratulated state party chief D K Shivakumar, the MLAs and all senior leaders of the party on the electoral outcome.

"Their continued hard work and unity in action will bring the Congress back to power in the state and usher in a new era of putting Karnataka as the number one state in development," he said in a statement.

Though the BJP has managed to win more seats than the Congress in the five city municipal councils that went for polls, the latter has gained upper hand in town municipal councils and town panchayats.

Noting that the BJP's performance has improved compared to the last time and it could have been better, Chief Minister Bommai said, "If you observe, as these places have concentration of minority community voters, we have not been getting good results, but this time due to efforts, in places like Gadag and other, we have got success."

On BJP's defeat in his constituency, he said, "We had never won there (in Bankapur), minority voters are 65%, it won't be right for me to say more. Same is the case with Guttal.... we will continue with our development work there also."

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