The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit out at the Congress after winning the Bengaluru civic elections, saying people's mandate was against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi's "anti-poor, anti-development and negative" politics.
This was the third straight win in municipal polls for the BJP following successes in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan this month, as a high-decibel Congress campaign to wrest control of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) while targeting its rival for five years of “misrule” came to naught.
Top party leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed their happiness over the series of victories. Modi said the mandate was an endorsement for politics of "development and good governance".
The BJP netted 100 of the 198 seats up for grabs, as Bengaluru, which is battling a barrage of civic problems, re-elected an incumbent party to the city council for the first time in three decades.
"People's continuous faith in the BJP is humbling and gladdening. We are fully committed to fulfilling aspirations of 125 crore Indians. After Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, BBMP poll results complete a hat-trick of wins for BJP. This is a win for politics of development and good governance," Modi said on Twitter.
After MP & Rajasthan, BBMP poll results complete a hat-trick of wins for BJP. This is a win for politics of development & good governance.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 25, 2015
Though the Prime Minister did not attack the Congress, BJP chief Amit Shah and senior party leader and finance minister Arun Jaitley slammed the main opposition party, asking it to introspect over its "negative politics".
Mindless negativity is counterproductive. This is the electorate’s message to Congress after M.P., Rajasthan and Bengaluru civic elections.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) August 25, 2015
"This victory is people's mandate against the continuous anti-poor, anti-development and politics of negative allegations being practised by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Congress, which has been marginalised in national politics, should seriously introspect over its negative politics," Shah said.
There is anger among people over the negative politics of the Congress to hinder the country's economic progress and development, he said. "This is a victory for our ideology of 'sabka saath sabka vikas' (with all, development for all)".
Jaitley said people's message to Congress was that "mindless negativity is counter-productive".
"MP, Rajasthan and now Bengaluru; a series of victories by the BJP. Will the Congress introspect, why?" he said.
The BJP-led government at the Centre and the Congress are locked in a bitter tussle over corruption allegations against some top ministers, and Opposition protests have disrupted the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament. Congress vice-president Rahul has also accused the government of being a 'suit-boot ki sarkar (read pro-corporate).'
I congratulate our karyakartas for victory in Bengaluru civic polls & also thank people of Bengaluru for showing faith in BJP @bjpkarnataka— Amit Shah (@AmitShahOffice) August 25, 2015
After the Bengaluru verdict, Union law minister DV Sadananda Gowda said "the results show that Siddaramaiah-led government has not taken off till now", while BJP vice-president BS Yeddyurappa said the outcome "shows the relevance of Modi wave still".
The elections were the culmination of a prolonged court battle, as the Siddaramaiah government sought to defer it on grounds of trifurcating BBMP, with the Opposition crying foul and accusing it of doing so out of fear of losing the polls.
(With agency inputs)