Bengaluru: The Congress was Monday locked in a close fight with the BJP in elections to urban local bodies (ULBs) in Karnataka but was set to gain control of a majority of them with a post-poll tie-up with ruling coalition partner, JD(S).
According to the state election commission, the Congress has secured 966 seats and the BJP has 910 seats in the elections held on Saturday.
The JD(S) has won 373 seats and the others the rest of the seats.
Results for 2,628 seats out of 2,709 have been declared so far.
Both the Congress and the JD(S) contested the polls separately despite being partners in the state government, but they have already declared that they would tie up post-election in urban bodies.
The Congress and the JD(S) put together have won 1,339 seats that gives them a clear edge over the BJP and control of a majority of the ULBs. These elections were considered a popular test of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government which was formed post-May assembly polls which had yielded a hung verdict and also was an indicative of the voters’ mood before the Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP had ended up as the single-largest party in the assembly polls but had failed to muster numbers to form the government, which paved the way for the Congress and JD(S) to stitch an alliance and take over the reins of administration.
The elections were held for three city corporations, 29 city municipal councils, 52 town municipal councils and 20 town panchayats.
Polls to Kodagu urban local bodies have been withheld due to the recent floods in the district. The BJP was in the leading position in Bagalkote, Belagavi,Chamarajanagar, Chitradurga, Dakshina Kannada, Davangere and Udupi districts.
On the other hand, voters put the Congress in the saddle in Ballari, Bidar, Gadag, Haveri, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Mysuru, Raichur, Uttara Kannada, and Yadgir.
The JD(S) is in the leading position in its traditional strongholds, including Hassan, Mandya and Tumakuru.