Bengaluru, Sep 6: It was a sweet and sour day for the BJP on results day of the municipal corporation polls held in three cities of Karnataka.
While the party registered a historic win in Belagavi municipal corporation election, the party failed to get a clear majority in Hubballi-Dharwad and Kalaburagi municipal corporations.
The BJP emerged as the single-largest party in Hubballi-Dharwad corporation by winning 39 seats out of 82 seats and came a close second to the Congress in Kalaburagi civic body by winning 23 seats out of 55 seats.
However, the BJP is satisfied with its performance in Kalaburagi as the party had just won seven seats in the last elections.
This election, it put up a ground breaking performance by tentatively winning 23 seats. The Congress won 26 seats and the remaining seats were won by others.
However, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai exuded confidence of sewing up majorities in Hubballi-Dharwad and Kalaburagi city corporations, with the support of other candidates, including JDS.
"The municipal corporation elections were almost a sample test for me after one month of my taking over as the chief minister. Out of the three municipal corporations, we have got a majority in two of the municipal corporations," he told reporters here.
"In the third one also (Kalaburagi), we are going to make the majority. We are in a very close race, but we are going to make the majority there also. So, all three corporations will have BJP mayors," he added.
Bommai also said it is a clean sweep for the party and a drubbing for the Congress.
These polls were a litmus test for Bommai, more so in Hubballi-Dharwad, which is his hometown. It also is the hometown of Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and senior BJP leader Jagadish Shettar.
Despite the presence of these leaders, the party failing to get a clear majority is a setback for Bommai as some voices within the party would target him, questioning his electoral leadership.
For BJP, Hubballi-Dharwad has been its stronghold for more than two decades and it was looking to complete a hat-trick this election, but could not as factionalism played spoilt sport.
Ahead of the election, the BJP had expelled 16 leaders for anti-party activities. The rebels had raised voice against the party for not giving them tickets.
Out of these rebel candidates, two of them won their respective wards. The party fell three short of the required majority of 42 out of the toral 82 seats.
The Congress managed to get the second largest share of 33 seats while the remaining went into the kitty of Independents, two of them were revel BJP aspirants.
To get a clear majority, the BJP will either have to get support from three Independents including two rebel BJP aspirants who won the election.
In Kalaburagi, JDS has emerged kingmaker as it won four seats, which has almost decided to lend support to the BJP, which garnered 23 seats.
Also, one rebel BJP candidate is expected to support the saffron party, which would take the total to 28 seats, which is a majority mark for any party to win an election.
BJP registers historic win in Belagavi
However, BJP registered a historic win after the party got a clear majority in the Belagavi city corporation election.
BJP got a clear majority in Belagavi city corporation elections, which has attracted the attention of the entire Maharashtra including Karnataka.
According to the results so far, the BJP won 39 wards, while Congress won ten out of the total 58 wards. Other parties managed to bag 13 seats, out of which, MES won just two seats.
The BJP had campaigned vigorously and aggressively in this election, which bore fruits for the party.
On the resounding win in Belagavi corporation polls, senior BJP leader and minister KS Eshwarappa said he was sure of the party winning in Belagavi because people there are staunch nationalist supporters.
Also, Belagavi has been BJP's stronghold in general and assembly elections, he said.
Asked if the results were in favour of BJP in two corporation polls, Eshwarappa said the victories suggest that the people of the two cities have acknowledged the good work carried out by Bommai in ministerial capacities.
However, BJP's politics does not revolve around individual politics, but around party, sangh parivar and leadership, he stated. "Because of these three factors, the party wins most of the elections. People have tremendous faith in the party, leadership and sanghatane," he added.
On Kalaburagi poll results, Eshwarappa said though people are benefiting from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, Muslims have not been voting for the party.
"Looking at what is happening in Afghanistan which is under Taliban's control, Muslim voters one day pin faith in PM Modi's Sab Ka Saath Sabka Vikas, and they will vote for BJP," he said.