Bengaluru: The Congress was ahead of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the counting of votes began on Monday for Karnataka’s 105 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), the State Election Commission (SEC) said.

The Congress emerged victorious in 982 civic body seats across the state, while the BJP has won in 929 seats, JD(S) 375, BSP 13 and Independents 363 as of 2 PM, according the results declared by the SEC on its website.

So far, results were declared on 2660 seats out of total 2664 seats where the ULB election was held on August 31.

“Congress is not lagging behind. Neck-and-neck fight is there & if you combine secular votes, they are the most. These elections are based on minor issues & local candidates & these results don’t hold much significance,” said Mallikarjun Kharge.

Meanwhile, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said that the results are below expectation. Meanwhile, JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda informed that the Congress and JD(S) will have a tie-up wherever the results are hung.

Polling took place across the 2,633 wards of the state, spread over 29 city municipalities, 53 town municipalities and 23 town panchayats and in 135 wards of the three city corporations.

A record average of 67.5 per cent voter turnout was registered across the state for the civic polls.

In all, 8,340 candidates, including 2,306 from the Congress, 2,203 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 1,397 from the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) are in the fray for the ULBs, while 814 contested from the city corporations, including 135 from Congress, 130 from BJP and 129 from JD-S.

In the event of a party not getting majority on its own in the election, Congress and JD-S have decided to forge a post-poll alliance to keep BJP out of power, similar to May 12 state Assembly election which threw up a hung verdict, a JD-S official told IANS earlier.

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, while Independents bagged the remaining 1,206 seats.