Bengaluru: The ruling Congress has bagged 13 of the 25 Karnataka legislative council seats for which elections were held on December 27. The BJP had to settle for a single-digit tally of six. The JD(S) won four seats and independents two.
The elections had seen a free flow of gifts - smartphones, tablets, costly saris and cash - from the parties to the voters (members of municipal and panchayat bodies). The parties had cited the lack of any ceiling on expenditure to justify their largesse. The results have not significantly altered the strength of the three parties in the 75-member House.
The Congress and BJP will have 29 members each, the JD(S) will have 11 and independents, five. Chairman D H Shankaramurthy is a BJP member.
The Congress had hoped to bag 15-18 seats and the BJP 15. Observers said the results were a huge setback to the BJP, coming after its failure to rule the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike council despite being the single largest party.
BJP functionaries had planned to cash in on the rebellion in the Congress during ticket distribution. K S Eshwarappa, opposition leader in the legislative council, had announced he would resign from public life if the Congress bagged one seat more than the BJP. Soon after the results, the former deputy CM did a flipflop, saying the statement was not valid now since chief minister Siddaramaiah had not accepted his challenge.