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BJP to focus on failures of previous panchayat body

Staff Correspondent

The party is contesting in 29 constituencies in Hassan district


HASSAN: With only 14 days left for the elections to the zilla and taluk panchayats, political parties, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP), are trying to highlight the failures of the previous body governed by both the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular).

Before beginning campaigning in Alur taluk, general secretary of BJP State unit Kailas said here on Tuesday that the party plans on focusing on the instability of the elected body owing to political defections, corruption charges against officials and elected members, and allegations of discrimination among constituencies.

In turn, the BJP will offer stability in governance and development without discrimination, he said.

As many as 177 candidates from various parties are in the fray for the 40 seats in the zilla panchayat.

The number of constituencies, which was 37 during the previous term, has increased to 40, with the formation of three new constituencies, including Mosalehosahalli of Hassan taluk, Gowdagere of Channarayapatna taluk and Arehalli of Belur Taluk.

While Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress have contested for all the 40 seats, the BJP is contesting only in 29 constituencies.

While BSP is contesting in 18 constituencies, SP is fighting for 15 seats. The presence of 28 independents has created anxiety among the parties. A total of 10.9 lakh voters will decide the fate of these candidates on December 19.

Defection

After securing 21 out of 37 seats, the Congress came to power and as the post of president of zilla panchayat was reserved for Scheduled Caste (Woman), G.T. Indira was chosen unanimously for the post.

After she completed her term, B.R. Vasudev and G.S. Gurusiddappa shared power for 20 months. By this time defection started haunting Congress. G.S. Gurusiddappa, G.T. Indira, T.D. Khande Rao and Mallanayak moved to the Janata Dal (Secular) and brought no-confidence motion against Congress.

The Janata Dal (S) supported the defected leaders and G.T. Indira benefited from this. She became the president again and Mr. Rao took over as vice-president.

Though Congress leaders tried their best to unseat Janata Dal (S) by snatching Jagannath and Rajashetty, their attempts failed, as Sreenivas moved to Janata Dal (S) and became vice-president.

According to BJP leaders in the district unit, political manoeuvring has angered the people. Many leaders, who indulged in the defection game, have been rendered ineligible, as their home constituencies have been reserved for other categories.

Corruption charges

The elected body and administration have been embroiled in several controversies over the past five years, including misappropriation of funds meant for renovation of auditorium and misuse of foodgrains released under Food for Work programme.

The Janata Dal (S) succeeded in establishing charges against Congress members for misuse of funds. More than 10 engineers were suspended on charges of corruption in the Food for Work programme faced a probe by Corps of Detectives.

However, they were later reinstated. With regard to removal of silt from the tanks has tarnished the image of zilla panchayat. The panchayat authorities, who exposed the case, have not completed the investigation. It is alleged that the Janata Dal (S) has compromised in each of these cases.

The CoD failed to frame charges against the officials involved in misuse of foodgrains after the coalition Government came to power. The BJP has decided to cash on these issues. As people have no choice but to choose between Congress and Janata Dal (S), which have sway in the district, it is to be seen whether these issues really matter in the ensuing election.

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