SEC upset as political parties claim victories in GP elections
As the gram panchayat poll results started coming in, the BJP and the Congress leaders started claiming that their party-backed candidates registered a majority of victories, much to the chagrin of the State Election Commission. For, the elections are not fought on party symbols, and is difficult to gauge how the workers of parties have fared on the ground.
The gram panchayat elections were held for 91,339 seats across 5,728 gram panchayats in the State.
While accusing the BJP of trying to lure the Congress candidates either by threatening or by offering money, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Twitter: “This is a challenging time for Congress. There are reports that BJP is trying to lure our candidates. BJP leaders are frustrated that they could not win the hearts of rural India. This should be condemned.” He further said: “Rural India has always supported Congress in gram panchayat elections since the panchayat system came into existence. Report suggests that Congress-supported candidates are winning.”
BJP leaders also took to Twitter claiming victories for party-backed candidates. Around 3 p.m., BJP national organising general secretary B.L. Santhosh said: “Of 82,616 wards, BJP is ahead with victory in 5,344 wards (48%) as of now. Great going… Congratulations.”
RDPR Minister K.S. Eshwarappa tweeted. “Today’s results show BJP is not restricted to educated urban voters. BJP is now the first choice of farmers and people in rural areas,”. BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel claimed that the people have rejected the Congress going by the results. “People have decided that BJP candidates are the right choice for village development,” he tweeted.
Medical Education and Health Minister K. Sudhakar went a step ahead and said: “This historic performance of BJP in Karnataka gram panchayat elections is a vindication of PM Narendra Modi’s pro-farmer policies and continued thrust on Gram Swaraj.” He claimed on Twitter: “For the first time in history, Lotus has bloomed in all the 29 GPs of Chickaballapur.”
The State Election Commission clarified that since the elections are not fought on party symbols, the result attributing to the parties was baseless, and also asked the media to refrain from giving party positions.