Former prime minister and party patriarch of Janta Dal Secular HD Dewe Gowda today set the mood for 2019 Lok Sabha polls by declaring that his party will continue to work with Congress to keep Bharatiya Janat Party at bay in Karnataka.
"We have succeeded. JDS and Congress will go together to keep BJP at a distance," he said moments after Congress won majority of the seats across 10 of 22 districts during vote count for 105 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) on Monday,
In the civic body polls held on August 31, the Congress has won 982 seats out of the total 2,662 seats, with a majority in 10 districts including Ballari, Bidar, Gadag, Mysuru, Uttara Kannada and Raichur, the SEC said in its website.
On the other hand, the Congress' leading ally in the state government, Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), trailed behind winning 375 seats and a majority in its strongholds of Hassan, Mandya and Tumakuru districts.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 929 seats, with majority in seven districts including the coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada.
Independents won 329 seats across the 22 districts, while other fringe parties and regional outfits won another 34.
The civic election verdict shows the BJP performed well in its traditional bastions of coastal districts, while the Congress retained its position in its strongholds of northern districts.
The result in Vijayapura district in the northern part of the state threw a hung verdict, with both Congress and BJP winning eight seats each of the total 23 seats, while JD-S won two seats and Independents five.
In the event of no party getting majority on its own in the election, the Congress and the JD-S have decided to forge a post-poll alliance to keep the BJP out of power, similar to May 12 state Assembly election which threw up a hung verdict, a JD-S official told IANS earlier.
Polling took place last Friday across 22 districts of the state spread over 29 city municipalities, 53 town municipalities, 23 town panchayats and 135 wards of three city corporations -- Mysuru, Shivamogga and Tumakuru.
A record average of 67.5 per cent voter turnout was registered across the state for the civic polls.
The polling in 45 seats of Kodagu district's civic bodies has been postponed due to recent heavy rains and flooding in the region.
In the 2013 ULB elections held in 4,976 seats, the Congress had won 1,960 seats, while BJP and JD-S had won 905 seats each, and Independents bagged the remaining 1,206 seats.
(With inputs from agencies)