BJP leads in Bengaluru civic body’s poll

Bengaluru, Aug 25 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led in the Bengaluru civic corporation’s election, according to trends from counting of votes in 197 wards across the city on Tuesday.

Three hours after the counting began at 8 a.m. in 27 centres across the city, the BJP led in 67 wards, the Congress in 47, Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) in 10 and independents in five, as per trends available from 129 wards.

But from results declared for 18 wards till 11 a.m., the BJP and the Congress have won seven seats each and the JD-S three, while an independent got elected in one ward.

Polling was held in 197 of the 198 wards on Saturday in which 49.3 percent of voting was registered, as over 36-lakh of the 74-lakh electorate exercised franchise in the day-long election, marred by some irregularities and rains.

Though the expanded Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has 198 wards, polling was not held in one ward, as BJP candidate Bharati Ramachandra, 45, was declared elected from the Hongasandra (ward #189) after the nomination of Congress candidate K. Maheshwari was rejected on August 13 for submitting a fake caste certificate.

The century-old BBMP was expanded in 2007 by including seven city municipal councils and one town municipal council and 111 surrounding villages to increase civic wards to 198 from 100.

Delimitation of the wards on the basis of the 2011 population census with 50 percent of them reserved for women have forced political parties to field wives or relatives of former corporators as contestants in many wards.

In all, 1,120 candidates, including 197 from the BJP, 198 from the Congress and 187 from the JD-S, a dozen from regional outfits like Vatala Chaluvali Paksha, AIADMK and Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and 399 independents, including many as rebels were in the fray.

In the previous five-year term (2010-15), the BJP ruled the BBMP for the first time by winning in 116 wards, as against 62 wards by the Congress, 14 by JD-S and eight by independents.

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