BENGALURU— In what could be seen as a setback for the BJP, which is ruling both in Karnataka and the centre, the saffron party won fewer seats than Congress in the first public political election held after the Ayodhya verdict which directed the construction of Ram Temple on the site where the 16th century Babri Masjid once stood.
On November 9, the five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court pronounced the verdict in the 134-year-old title suit involving Babri Masjid and claim for Ram Janmasthan in Ayodhya. The elections for 14 urban local bodies were held in nine districts of Karnataka on November 12. Of the 418 wards that went to poll, Congress won the highest number – 151 wards – while BJP finished at No. 2 with 125 wards. The Janata Dal-Secular won 63 seats.
|Karnataka Urban Local Body Election Results for 418 Wards|
The worst performance of BJP was in the City Municipal Councils in Kolar district. While Independents won 33 out of the total 101 seats, the Congress won 32 and JD(S) 20 seats. With just 8 seats, BJP was at No. 4.
What is important to note here is that these elections were held in urban areas, generally considered safe zones for the saffron party in most states in the country. A total of 14 urban local bodies, including City Municipal Councils and Town Municipal Councils had gone to polls.
Another important aspect of these elections is that they were held around three months after the BJP came to power in the state through back door as around one and half dozen MLAs of Congress-JDS alliance mysteriously resigned en masse resulting in the fall of the alliance government.
Is the loss of BJP to Congress this urban body election in Karnataka a proof that the people have disapproved the saffron party’s ‘chanakya’ style to capture power on one hand and refused to rally behind it for the Ayodhya verdict?