SILENCING his critics, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa led his ruling BJP to victory in the local body elections. Even though the three-phase local body polls had seen a triangular contest among BJP, Congress and JD(S), the ruling BJP emerged as the single largest party with maximum seats in both Zilla Parishad and Taluk Panchayat elections.
The victory comes at a time when the Chief Minister was facing criticism over alleged land scams and growing assertiveness of the opposition that has been plotting his downfall for some time now.
The BJP bagged 17 Zilla (district) Panchayats while the Opposition Congress and JD(S) captured four each. The verdict for the remaining 10 such bodies was fractured. In the 176 Taluk (sub-district) Panchayats, the BJP secured 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.
The BJP, Congress and JD(S) were locked in a three-way fight in a majority of the 1,013 zilla and 3,659 taluk panchayat seats. Over 65 per cent of the 21 million voters, nearly half of them women, cast their ballots in the elections to the 30 zilla and 176 taluk panchayats on December 26, 31 and January 1. These are the first elections to the local governing councils after the BJP came to power in the State in May 2008. Earlier, it was Congress leading the local bodies except in Bellary, which was with the BJP. This time in a sort of irony the BJP lost its grip in Bellary where powerful Reddy brothers wield power.
Talking to the mediapersons, a beaming Chief Minister said it was a victory of the good work done by the ruling BJP. He also said it was a lesson people have taught to both the Congress and the JD(S). He said the results also disproved the myth that the BJP had a base only in urban regions.
He said, “Today’s victory is a lesson taught by the people to the opposition parties. The people gave a befitting reply to the opposition parties who were harping on baseless allegations. This has reinforced the faith of the people in the party. This is the victory for the development works done by the BJP”.