Bengaluru, Dec 30 (PTI) Initial trends indicate that the candidates backed by the BJP have won a majority of panchayat seats in Karnataka as the counting of votes progressed on Wednesday.

Though these polls don't take place on party symbols, all political parties have put in efforts to ensure that the candidate supported by them wins, so as to have their hold on grassroot level politics, which may prove advantageous for them in taluk or zilla panchayat and even assembly polls whenever it happens.

According to sources, the BJP has so far secured 4,228 seats, followed by the Congress with 2,265 seats, JD(S) 1,167 seats and independents 678 seats.

Karnataka State Election Commission officials said counting was on at all 226 centres at the Taluk headquarters by adhering to strict COVID-19 protocol of mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing and hand hygiene.

Over 1,100 security personnel have been deployed at the counting centres, State Election Commissioner B Basavaraju said.

During the election, ballot papers were used in all districts except Bidar, election officials said.

The elections to 5,728 village panchayats had taken place across 226 Taluks of the state for 82,616 seats.

They were conducted in two phases on December 22 and 27 where 78.58 per cent voting was registered.

As many as 2,22,814 candidates contested the election whereas 8,074 candidates were elected unopposed.