Congress unsure on alliance for ULB elections

Congress unsure on alliance for ULB elections

KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao and deputy chief minister G Parameshwara.

The Congress and JD(S) remain undecided on joining hands for the urban local body (ULB) elections.

The ULB polls are usually considered a barometer of the mood of the people.

The Congress, which is the majority stakeholder in the coalition, is yet to take a call on fighting the polls alongside the JD(S). “We will take a decision in a couple of days after discussing with senior leaders,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao said.

Forging an alliance at the local level will not be easy, Rao admitted. “It really depends on local conditions,” he said. “Our alliance with the JD(S) is for the Lok Sabha polls. Even during the earlier alliance when Dharam Singh was chief minister, we did not have an alliance for the ULB polls.”

A section of Congress leaders has expressed fear that fighting the ULB elections separately may adversely impact poll prospects of the party’s candidates in the Lok Sabha elections.

The JD(S), a regional party, has a dominant presence in Ramanagara, Mandya and Hassan districts and has a straight contest with the Congress in several districts including Chamarajanagar, Chikkaballapur, Kolar and Bengaluru Rural.

The JD(S) leaders have indicated already that they want to go it alone in the polls.

Interestingly, the regional party has an alliance with the BJP in some ULBs. For instance, in Tumakuru and Mysuru city corporations, the two parties have a tie-up. In Mysuru city corporation, the JD(S) joined hands with the BJP and defeated the Congress candidate in the mayoral elections a few months ago.

2013 polls

When the 208 ULB went to polls in 2013, the Congress gained the upper hand securing 1,960 of the 4,976 seats, which was over 39% of the total.

The BJP and the JD(S) secured 905 each.

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