Business leaders, who usually fight shy of airing their views on political developments, have welcomed the “decisive mandate” of voters in the elections to the ULBs in the State. Speaking to The Hindu, K. Shiva Shanmugam, president, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said voters in the State have “acted wisely” by giving the Congress a significant lead over the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Describing the vote as a verdict in favour of “good and responsible governance” he said, “The elections have proved that money power alone is not enough to win power.”

J. Crasta, co-chairman, Southern Regional Council of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM), said industrialists, especially those running small- and medium-sized units, see the results as a “sign of hope”.

“The business community, which had great expectations from the first BJP government in the south, has been badly let down,” he said. “The two Global Investors’ Meets, for instance, were a mere farce. This government has failed to implement even the simple promises such as the abolition of trade licences, which is a major issue for small businesses.”

Following the results, Mr. Crasta expects a “movement” of BJP leaders to the Congress camp. “This will happen because prospective candidates for the Assembly polls will realise that their “local-level support base has eroded significantly,” he explained.

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