BANGALORE, Dec.21: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka Monday won ten of the 25 legislative council seats for which polls were held Friday, but failed to win a majority in the 75-member house.
The Congress-Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) alliance bagged ten and five seats, respectively. With 10 seats it won Monday, the BJP will now have 34 members in the upper house of the legislature. It retained four of the seats and gained six.
The Congress was a big loser winning only 10 of the 19 seats it earier held. Its alliance partner, the JD-S was a major gainer bagging five seats, four more than it had.
Of the 25 seats, one was vacant. Voting took place for 23 seats as Congress and BJP had bagged one seat each unopposed. Of the council’s 75 members, 25 each are elected by assembly and local bodies, seven each by graduates and teachers and the remaining 11 are nominated. Polls to the council are held biennially as one-thirdmembers retire every two years under statutory provisions.
Friday’s poll was to fill the 25 seats from the local bodies - gram, taluka, zilla panchyats, town municipal councils and city corporations. Besides thesemembers, legislators and parliament members formed the electoral college. Of the over 93,000 members of local bodies, legislators and parliament members, around 97 percent voted.
The BJP was hoping to win 15 seats to gain control of the upper house, over 18 months after capturing power in Karnataka for the first time.
After Monday’s outcome, party position in the 75-member house would be BJP 37, Congress 20, JDS seven and the chairman of the council. Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa told reporters here that he was happy BJP got ten seats in spite of the Congress-JDS alliance.
JDS leader and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who stitched the alliance with the Congress, said in a statement from New Delhi that the tie up had achieved its goal of preventing BJP from gaining control of the upper house.