The elections to over 208 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the state which came as a bolt from the blue to all political parties, is likely to be a precursor to the outcome of the crucial Assembly elections due in May.
All parties, including the ruling BJP, Congress and the JD(S) and even MLAs elected as independents did not relish the idea to hold elections to ULBs ahead of the Assembly elections. However, the State Election Commission has decided to conduct the polls to over 208 ULBs, including seven city corporations, following the directions of the Supreme Court.
While the government and political parties were insisting that the ULB polls be postponed till the publications of the demographic data of the 2011 census to provide 50 per cent quota in the reserved category, SC/ST, OBC and women, the SEC was keen on holding the elections as the five-year term of the ULBs had ended.
KPCC senior vice-president Kagodu Thimmappa told Express that the party has taken the local bodies elections very seriously and would put up a spirited fight. “Local bodies elections are fought on local issues and need not necessarily mirror the Assembly elections,” he felt.
Congress sources also said that the KPCC has convened a meeting of all the District Congress Committee presidents and office-bearers on Monday.
Senior party leaders, including KPCC president Dr G Parameshwar, CLP leader Siddaramaiah, Union Ministers Mallikarjuna Kharge, Veerappa Moily and K H Muniyappa are expected to hit the campaign trail.
The KPCC has also appointed observers to all the districts to shortlist the party’s aspirants, and are expected to submit their reports within one week.
The ruling BJP is also gearing up. “The popularity of the BJP government which was ridden with corruption, infighting and defection would be put to the acid test,” a senior leader said.
While the JD(S) is expected to fare better in its stronghold old Mysore region, all eyes are set on the newly launched KJP led by Yeddyurappa, for whom it is a do or die battle.
If the KJP springs a good performance, it will spell doom for the BJP, a senior BJP leader told Express on condition of anonymity.