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BJP began its campaign months in advance and in a systematic manner
Several leaders in the Congress are disgruntled over ticket distribution
SET TO CHANGE:With none of the parties likely to get a clear majority in the coming polls, the zilla panchayat in Chitradurga may have a coalition setup.
Chitradurga: Going by the changing political scenario in the district, it appears the Bharatiya Janata Party seems set to repeat its impressive performance in the last Assembly, Lok Sabha and Council elections.
The popularity of the party in the Congress bastion has been steadily increasing since the last Assembly polls, when the party won two of the six seats and put up a tough fight in other taluks as well.
The BJP went on to win the Lok Sabha seat, which had been in the pocket of the Congress for decades, and the byelection to the Council too.
The BJP, as it appears from recent developments in the district, may fare better than other parties, especially the Congress, in the coming zilla and taluk panchayat election and strengthen its base here.
The district goes to polls in the first phase on December 26 for 34 zilla and 129 taluk panchayats. While 151 candidates are in fray for the 34 zilla panchayat seats, the number for taluk panchayats is 497.
The BJP is expected to substantially improve its tally from the one zilla panchayat seat that it won last time. The Congress had secured the highest number of 19, followed by the Janata Dal (S) with 11 and the Janata Party with two. Another seat had been won by an independent. However, the solitary seat secured by the BJP was in a byelection.
There are quite a few factors in favour of the BJP, including systematic preparation for the polls. Moreover, the party is in power in the State, which may give it a huge advantage over the others.
Unlike other parties, the BJP began its poll campaign months in advance by constituting booth committees and holding meetings in rural areas. The party also ensured that Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa was involved in the campaign. However, the Congress has still not rid itself of its old problems of lack of coordination, internal bickering and lack of leaders.
Several Congress leaders, including H. Ekantaiah, have openly criticised or expressed their displeasure over the selection of candidates.
According to sources, P. Kodandaramaiah, a veteran leader of the party and the MP, had prevented D. Sudhakar, the former Minister and suspended MLA from Hiriyur, from joining the Congress, prompting him to support the Janata Dal (Secular).
Besides, another suspended MLA from Hosadurga, the former Minister Gulihatti Shekhar, is fielding independent candidates for all the zilla and taluk panchyat seats.
Political analysts predict a fractured verdict, resulting in a coalition setup in the zilla panchayat.
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