Big gains for BJP in Karnataka Panchayat polls

Big gains for BJP in Karnataka Panchayat polls
Bangalore:  The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka on Tuesday took a major lead in the Zilla and Taluk elections. The BJP bagged 12 of the 30 Zilla Panchayats while the opposition Congress and JD(S) captured four each. The verdict for the remaining 10 such bodies was fractured.

"The results of Zilla and Taluk Panchayat elections have vindicated people's support to our government's development programmes. They have given a befitting reply to the baseless allegations of the opposition and are beyond the party's expectations," Chief Minister B S Yeddyurapa said at a press conference.

The Chief Minister said the outcome had proved that BJP is not confined to urban areas, but has a base in rural areas too.

The results are significant in the wake of the Yeddyurappa facing serious allegations over corruption.

"The results should make opposition Congress and JD(S) stop levelling charges against the government and allow it to concentrate on development hereafter," he said.

The BJP has won the majority of the seats in the Shimoga Zila Panchayat in the CM's constituency but the party could only win by a narrow margin in Bellary, the stronghold of the controversial Reddy brothers.
The saffron party also secured majority in around 70 Taluk Panchayats (TP), while Congress and the JD(S) bagged around 30 TPs each. In more than 40 other TPs, the verdict was fractured.

BJP, which had bagged only one Zilla Panchayat (ZP) (Bellary) in 2005, had expected at least 20 ZPs in its kitty this time.
"101% we will be in number one place, JD(S) in number two place and Congress in number three place," said Yeddyurappa.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress chief G Parameshwara, however, described the results as a "setback" to the BJP.
He indicated that Congress might have a post-poll tie-up with JD(S) to secure power in ZPs and TPs where no party has gained majority by saying, "We have to come to some decision on tie-up with JD(S). We will discuss the issue with senior leaders.

The campaigning for the polls saw the opposition targeting the BJP Government on alleged corruption in land allocations and mining, while the ruling party asserted that people would teach the former a lesson for levelling "baseless" charges and vote for it for its development programmes.

(With PTI inputs)

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