The process of counting of votes began for Belagavi, Kalburgi and Hubballi-Dharwad urban local bodies in Karnataka on Monday for which the polls were held on September 3.
Sources say, the results will be an indicator to the ruling BJP especially for the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai who has taken the mantle recently.
Initial trends of counting suggested lead for the ruling BJP in Belagavi and Hubballi-Dharwad corporations while the Congress was ahead in Kalburgi city corporation.
All three major cities are located in north Karnataka region which is considered as the bastion of ruling BJP. The elections were held for the 55 wards of Kalaburgi, 82 wards of Hubballi & Dharwad and 58 wards of Belagavi on September 3.
The ruling BJP wants to win all three city corporations while the Congress is equally pitching in for victory. The Congress sees a chance in Belagavi and Hubballi-Dharwad as the BJP remains a divided house. Kalburgi, is the native district of Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and he wants to prove a point with good performance.
It is said that, since former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has publicly expressed his displeasure for the elevation of Bommai, party sources say that it might affect the prospectus of the BJP in Hubballi-Dharwad city corporation.
Ramesh Jarakiholi, former minister who lost his cabinet berth after being accused in a sex-CD case continues to be unhappy as his inclusion to the Bommai cabinet was outrightly rejected. His brother Satish Jarakiholi, a senior Congress leader has been actively involved in strategizing the win for the party. The Maharashtra Ekikarana Samithi (MES) is also seeing a change in the bordering city.
However, sources in the BJP say that it is going to be a cakewalk for the ruling party as a person from north Karnataka is heading the government and the party has also announced that next elections will be fought under his leadership.