BJP wins Bengaluru civic polls, Modi happy
Even as the counting was in progress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that people's "continuous faith in the BJP is humbling and gladdening" and called it a hat-trick after similar wins in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
"Thank you Bengaluru!" Modi tweeted.
According to officials, the BJP had won 88 of the 196 wards and was leading in 11. The Congress bagged 71 wards and led in five and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) had got 13 wards. Independents won from eight wards.
BJP candidate Bharati Ramachandra was declared elected unopposed earlier from Hongasandra (ward 189) after Congress candidate K. Maheshwari submitted a fake caste certificate.
The BJP is now to retain power in the century-old corporation in India's IT capital.
Hailing his party's win, Modi complimented local party leaders. He said the Bengaluru results "complete a hat-trick of wins for the BJP. This is a win for the politics of development and good governance".
Polling was held in 197 wards on Saturday and saw a 49.3 percent turnout, with over 36 lakh of the 74 lakh electorate voting.
The Bengaluru corporation expanded in 2007 by including seven city municipal councils and a town municipal council as well as 111 surrounding villages to increase the civic wards to 198 from 100.
With 50 percent of the wards reserved for women, political parties fielded wives or relatives of former corporators in many wards. In all, 1,120 candidates contested.
The BJP and Congress had candidates in all wards, and the JD-S in 187. A slew of regional outfits including the AIADMK were also in the fray.
The BJP has ruled the corporation from 2010, then winning in 116 wards as against the 62 wards of the Congress and 14 of the JD-S.