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Good showing by BJP in a few districts

Special Correspondent

However, it has suffered reverses in its strongholds of Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Bidar


  • The BJP has done well in Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts
  • The Samajwadi Party has dashed its hopes in Uttara Kannada

    Bangalore: The Bharatiya Janata Party has reasons to derive comfort from the results of the elections to the zilla and taluk panchayats though it might be able to gain control over only a minority of panchayats.

    The party was never a force at the panchayat level. In the elections to the zilla and taluk panchayats in 2000, it won only 43 and 243 seats, respectively, in those bodies.

    As Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly B.S. Yediyurappa put it, the BJP has gained much considering that it entered the electoral race with a "zero base" in most of the dissolved panchayat bodies.

    However, a major reverse for the party this time has been in Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Bidar districts, its strongholds. It has lost ground to the Congress in all three districts.

    The Samajwadi Party, which entered the fray for the first time under the leadership of former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa, dashed the BJP's hopes in Uttara Kannada. Mr. Bangarappa, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Shimoga as the BJP candidate in 2004, resigned from it to float the Samajwadi Party in the State. He retained the Shimoga Lok Sabha as the party's candidate.

    However, Mr. Bangarappa has not been successful in playing the spoilsport vis-a-vis the BJP in his district, Shimoga. The BJP has held its own in the district where, however, the Congress has established its supremacy.

    The BJP has retained its traditional hold over Dakshina Kannada district. It has also done well in Kodagu district, though the Congress has the edge over it.

    However, another of the major reverses for the party is in Bidar district, where it has emerged third after the Congress and the Janata Dal (S). The BJP has also suffered reverses in the Bombay Karnatak districts where it fared very well in both the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly elections in 2004.

    BJP State unit President Jagadish Shettar said the BJP has scored a "big victory" in the elections and disproved observers who had attributed last year's good showing to the "Vajpayee factor".

    The BJP has triumphed in Mr. Yediyurappa's Assembly constituency of Shikaripura in Shimoga district, where it has won all 14 taluk panchayat and five zilla panchayat seats.

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