Karnataka: BJP, Congress claim big win in gram panchayat elections | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The BJP and Congress on Thursday claimed major victories of candidates backed by them in the gram panchayat (GP) elections held recently after the counting of votes concluded on Thursday.
“About 60% of BJP-supported candidates have won the elections and our party sympathisers were leading in 3,800 of 5,728 panchayats in the state,” CM BS Yediyurappa told reporters.
Former CM Siddaramaiah said Congress-backed candidates won 65% of the seats. The statements came despite the poll panel expressing its reservations over making party-wise claims since the elections are not fought on party symbols.
BJP expanding base in Old Mysuru region
Earlier, BJP state Nalin Kumar Kateel said party-backed candidates won 55% of all seats.
“Yediyurappa, being the CM, should not make outrageous claims of winning 3,800 GPs especially when the election is apolitical and the reservation of GPs is yet to be announced. There is no truth in Yediyurappa’s claims. We’ve won a majority of the seats,” Siddaramaiah claimed.
Congress working president Saleem Ahmed tweeted: “Though the BJP government misused its machinery and public money, it failed to beat us in the polls.”
The JD(S) said it has managed to defend its bastions in south Karnataka. Its leader HD Kumaraswamy said despite the national parties wooing his cadre and aspirants with money and muscle power, most of the partybacked candidates have stayed with them and won the election for the party. “I urge each one of them, including those who were defeated, to work towards the dream of Gram Swarajya and towards developing the panchayats,” he tweeted.
Elections to 91,339 seats in 5,728 village panchayats were held on December 22 and 27, with a voter turnout of 81%.
Reports suggested the BJP has made inroads in rural areas, besides expanding base in Old Mysuru region – a stronghold of Congress and JD(S).
The CM said, “Victory of BJP-backed candidates demonstrates people’s faith in the party and PM Modi. The BJP has been winning all elections — be it assembly bypolls or local bodies.”

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Sagar Biswas

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