This is the first election after JDS-Congress government took power in May under HD Kumaraswamy (File)
Bengaluru: The Congress and alliance partner Janata Dal Secular have together outstripped the BJP in the elections for Karnataka's urban local bodies -- seen as a test for the coalition government formed in May. Of the 2,709 seats countng is over in 2670 seats. The Congress won 988 seats, the BJP 929, the Janata Dal Secular has won 375 seats and Independents 378 seats. BJP chief Yeddyurappa said his party would have done better had it not been for the Congress-JD(S) alliance. The ruling allies had contested separately, with the provision that if need be, they would join hands to keep the BJP out of power again.
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The Congress and the JD(S) together have won 1,363 seats, which gives them a clear edge over the BJP and control of a majority of the Urban Local Bodies.In many urban bodies no party won a majority and this is where a post-poll alliance between the Congress and the JD(S) will come into play.
"We expected better performance of the party than the present results," said BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa. The election results, he said, are "not an indication of any future elections, particularly Lok Sabha elections... where the BJP is going to win with a thumping majority".
"This is a win for us. We are the largest party... Those who said the Congress was weakening are wrong," said state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao. Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, "If you combine the secular votes, they are the most".
The BJP -- which has a strong presence in urban bodies in bigger cities -- won in Shimoga, the stronghold of Mr Yeddyurappa and reasserted its hold in the coastal Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.
Deve Gowda, former prime minister and JDS leader said, "We will come together to keep the BJP out. His son H D Kumaraswamy said, "Yeddyurappa can keep dreaming."
In Tumkur, 8 people were injured in an acid attack on the victory procession of winning Congress candidate Inayatullah Khan.
The elections were considered a test of the Congress-JD(S)coalition government and an indication of the voters' mood ahead of the next year's general elections. In the assembly elections in May, the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, remained out of power as the Congress and the JD(S) joined hands.
On August 31, polling took place across 2,633 wards of the state -- spread over 29 city municipalities, 53 town municipalities and 23 town panchayats and in 135 wards of three city corporations. A record average of 67.5 per cent voter turnout was registered.
Polls to the urban local bodies in Kodagu district were not held due to the recent floods in the district.
In the 2013 local body elections, out of 4,976 seats, the Congress won 1,960, while the BJP and the JD(S) won 905 seats each. Independents had won the remaining 1,206 seats.