Though the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost heavily in the recently-concluded elections to the urban local bodies (ULBs), the losses suffered by the Janata Dal (Secular) appear to be even bigger if the number of wards it won this time is compared with its 2007 tally.
The Janata Dal(S) lost 597 seats and over 34 ULBs in the 2013 polls when compared to its performance in the polls held in September 2007, just a few months after it came to lead the coalition government with the BJP. The Janata Dal(S) won in 1,502 wards in 2007 and only 905 in 2013.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is attributing its loss of 275 seats (from 1,180 in 2007 to 905 in 2013) to the division of votes caused by the breakaway parties, Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), which won in 274 wards, and BSR Congress, which won 86 seats, though there is no indication yet on party-wise vote shares.
The Janata Dal(S), however, has no such handy excuses to explain away its losses.
The Janata Dal(S) suffered setbacks in its traditional strongholds in the old Mysore region. While it lost 43 seats in Chamarajanagar district, its loss in Hassan district too was not small at 36 seats, followed by 34 in Ramanagaram district, 25 in Chikmagalur district, 21 in Mandya district and 14 seats in Mysore district.
In North Karnataka too, the Janata Dal(S), which had made a headway when H.D. Kumaraswamy was the Chief Minister, performed badly. In Belgaum district, it managed to secure only six seats, down from 95 in 2007.
The party, which had secured 108 seats in the undivided Gulbarga district in 2007, managed to win only 36 and 12 seats in Gulbarga and Yadgir districts, a loss of 60 seats, in all.
In Raichur and Koppal too, it lost 44 and 32 seats, respectively.
The party, which won 72 seats in Bellary district in 2007, could win only six seats this time while it lost 17 seats in Haveri district. In Davangere and Chitradurga districts, the Janata Dal(S) lost 43 and 21 seats respectively while it lost 18 seats in Bidar district.
The party improved its performance only by 27 seats in Gadag district, 13 in Kolar district and 16 in Shimoga district.
The Congress’ significant gains and the BJP’s major loss come from Bagalkot district where the former added 53 seats and latter lost 90 seats, Bellary (49 and 48) and Dakshina Kannada (25 and 18).
The Congress improved its performance substantially in the districts of Ramanagaram adding 33 seats, Davangere 44, Utara Kannada 27, Hassan 22, Mandya 22 and Mysore 19. Both were losers in Belgaum district, losing 64 and 20 seats, respectively.