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Panchayat polls a semi-final between coalition partners: Basavaraj Bommai

Special Correspondent

HUBLI: The zilla and taluk panchayat elections is some sort of a semi-final match between the Congress and the Janata Jal (S) who are vying with each other to strengthen their base and the Assembly elections which may follow as a consequence is going to be the final.

This was how Basavaraj Bommai, Janata Dal (U) MLC and Chairman of the State Parliamentary Board of the party summed up the emerging political scene with the stage set for holding the zilla and taluk panchayat in December. Mr. Bommai told The Hindu that the results of the panchayat polls would hasten the exit of the Government leading to fresh elections some time in March next year. Mr. Bommai said the stakes for the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) were quite high in the elections. But the Janata Dal (S) appeared to be more vulnerable than the Congress he said.

Support

Mr. Bommai noted that the Congress had pockets of support in all the regions of Karnataka, while the Janata Dal (S) drew its sustenance only from the Old Mysore area; and the party had to contend with the Siddaramaiah factor too.

The Congress had the capacity to make up for the loss in this region from other regions, but that was not so with the Janata Dal (S). If it performed badly in the Old Mysore area, it would lose the political battle forever, Mr. Bommai said.

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