Bangalore: The Congress dealt a massive blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka urban local body elections by winning four major city corporations. The Congress not only made huge gains by winning the highest number of wards across the state, but the party also routed BS Yeddyurappa's Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) and ended the rule of Reddy brothers in Bellary by decimating their BSR Congress across central Karnataka.
Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa's KJP failed to make a big splash while the ruling BJP could only secure third place by winning just 876 wards while the Congress was way ahead with 1881 seats. The Janata Dal Secular (JDS) managed to hold on to its strength in the Old Mysore region and managed to win 890 wards to take the second place in the state.
The Karnataka local polls, which have been billed as semi-finals before the state elects a new Assembly in a couple of months, show that the BJP is finding the going tough and has not been fully able to counter the Yeddyurappa effect.
There are a total number of 4976 seats for which counting took place. The Congress won Bellary, Mangalore and Davanagere city corporations. The party is leading in four out of seven city corporations and is also doing very well in Dakshin Kannada.
The BJP is ahead in Hubli-Dharwad while there is close fight between Congress and JDS in Mysore. Yeddyurappa's party has put up a dismal performance in Shimoga while the BJP has suffered a huge defeat in its stronghold of coastal Karnataka where the Independents have come third. The trends and results show that urban voters have rejected BJP and its offshoots KJP and BSR Congress.
The Bellary brothers, who had launched the BSR Congress, have been routed in their stronghold. The Congress is also leading in areas dominated by the JDS.
The results are crucial since they could be an indicator of what will happen in the state elections coming up in two months. Over 200 municipalities including seven city corporations went to the polls on March 7.
In the last urban local bodies polls in 2007, of the total 5007 wards, the Congress had come first winning 1606, followed by JDS 1502 and BJP 1180.