Karnataka Panchayat poll results: BJP-backed candidates lead in 20,428 seats, Congress-supported in 19,253; both claim victory
Karnataka State Election Commission officials said counting was on at 226 centres at the Taluk headquarters by adhering to strict COVID-19 protocol
Even though the counting of votes in over 5,700 Karnataka Gram Panchayat Elections is still underway, both the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress Wednesday claimed major victories for candidates backed by them.
According to News18 Kannada, as per latest updates, candidates backed the saffron party were leading in 20,428 seats, whereas, Congress-supported candidates were ahead in 19,253 seats. Those supported by the Janata Dal (Secular) were leading in 12,731 whereas Independent candidates and those backed by other parties were ahead in 8,062 seats.
It is to be noted that these figures are not validated independently as there were no official declaration of results till night.
Karnataka State Election Commission officials said counting was on at 226 centres at the Taluk headquarters by adhering to strict COVID-19 protocol of mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, and hand hygiene.
The elections, not held on party symbols, were conducted to 82,616 seats in 5,728 village panchayats in two phases on 22 and 27 December using ballot papers with a voter turnout of 78.58 percent, and counting was taken up on Wednesday morning.
Despite no official confirmation, BJP state chief Nalin Kumar Kateel and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah maintained that candidates backed by their parties were winning in maximum seats.
In a statement, Kateel said BJP "won maximum seats", for which he gave credit to various strategies drawn by the party. He said rural-centric schemes such as Gram Swaraj and activation of booth level committees helped in taking to the people the measures initiated by the Central and state governments for development.
"People supported the development and voted in favour of the BJP backed candidates," Kateel said.
Siddaramaiah in a series of tweets claimed that the farmers taught the BJP a lesson.
"Rural India is frustrated by the policies implemented by@BJP4India. Farmers are against anti-farmer laws and they found Gram Panchayat elections as the perfect opportunity to teach @BJP4India a lesson. Reports suggest that @INCKarnatakasupported candidates are winning," he said.
Rural India is frustrated by the policies implemented by @BJP4India. Farmers are against anti-farmer laws and they found Gram Panchayat elections as the perfect opportunity to teach @BJP4India a lesson.
Reports suggest that @INCKarnataka supported candidates are winning.
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) December 30, 2020
"Congress has always stood firmly with farmers and rural India. This has always instilled confidence among people. Tradition of winning has continued," he tweeted. Noting that this was a challenging time for the Congress in the state, the former chief minister expressed apprehensions that the BJP might lure its winning candidates to switch over.
This is challenging time for @INCKarnataka
There are reports that @BJP4Karnataka is trying to lure our candidates either by threatening or by offering money
BJP leaders are frustrated that they could not win the hearts of Rural India.
This should be condemned#GramPanchayat
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) December 30, 2020
The JD(S) has not yet made any statement on the poll outcome.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday claimed the ruling BJP supported candidates are likely to win a majority of the seats.
"According to my information, it is certain that 85-90 percent BJP supported candidates will get elected in gram panchayat polls," he had said.
A total of 2,22,814 candidates contested the election, while 8,074 were elected unopposed.
While the first phase had seen a voter turnout of about 82 percent, it was around 80 percent in the second phase.
Though these polls are not held on party symbols, all political parties have put in efforts to ensure that the candidate supported by them wins, so as to have their hold on grass-root level politics. The results of the polls may prove advantageous for them in taluk or zilla panchayat and even A=ssembly polls whenever it happens.
With inputs from PTI
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