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BJP, Janata Dal (S) give a tough time to Congress

Staff Correspondent

Samajwadi Party led by former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa hopes to open account

HAVERI: After receiving a major setback in the Haveri district in the last general elections, the Congress is now facing stiff competition from the BJP in the panchayat polls, along with the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Samajwadi Party, which are making every effort to wrest seats.

After the last panchayat elections, the Congress came to power in the zilla panchayat and also in all seven taluk panchayats in the district.

The district was then considered a Congress fort.

Rout in general elections

In the general elections however, the Congress was routed in the district, with the BJP winning four Assembly segments and the Dharwad South Parliament Constituency.

Janata Dal (Secular) won in one Assembly segment and an independent candidate won another.

Anti-incumbency wave

The district witnessed a strong anti-incumbency wave during the general elections, which benefited the BJP. Although there is no such wave this time, the presence of four MLAs and an MP might help the BJP increase its tally in the panchayat elections.

The Congress also is making every effort to retain the position it had during the last Panchayat elections. But its performance during the last five years and the ensuing allegations posed new challenges for it.

Meanwhile, an emergent Janata Dal (Secular) is making efforts to win as much seats as it can. Along with it is the Samajwadi Party led by former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa, which is hoping to open its account in the panchayat polls.

Like other districts, in Haveri too the number of ZP and TP seats has increased. Three additional ZP constituencies and nine more TP constituencies have been added to the district.

But it seems almost all the parties are facing shortage of candidates. While the Congress has fielded its candidates in all the 32 ZP constituencies, it has candidates in only 114 TP constituencies out of the total 118. The other political parties have failed to field candidates in all the constituencies.

Cautious approach

One of the reasons for this is said to be the cautious approach of all parties in selecting the candidates. And this approach has had an impact on the number of rebel candidates. No party in the district is facing serious threat from rebel candidates.

Voters divided

But as the voters seem divided on supporting any single party, the district might end up with a hung zilla panchayat. But the same cannot be said about taluk panchayats, where local politics and candidates are vital factors.

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