On poll eve, JD(S) takes the fight to the BJP

With the BJP struggling to overcome the damage to its image in view of the scams and controversies in its Government and the Congress still caught in the battle for supremacy between ‘insiders and outsiders,’ the JD(S) has been making efforts to spread its base in the hitherto unexplored regions and consolidating its position across the State.

Kumaraswamy has been attacking the BJP on two major issues during his poll campaign: corruption and administrative lapses.

He, at the same time, is trying to brush the people’s memories of his 20-month rule as chief minister, thus highlighting the contrast between the then JD(S)-led Government and the present BJP Government led by Yeddyurappa.

The JD(S) has successfully kept the land scam issue alive in the run up to the elections. It has released a booklet chronicling the alleged illegal land denotifications and allotments made by Chief Minister Yeddyurappa in favour of his kin. The issue has come in handy for the party to gain the support of thousands of farmers whose lands were taken over by the Government for industrial purposes across the State.

The JD(S) leadership has also ensured an amicable relationship with the Congress in the State.

Neither Kumaraswamy nor his father - JD(S) chief Deve Gowda - has commented on the multi-crore scams involving the Congress-headed Union Government.

Star campaigner
Kumaraswamy, who is the star campaigner for his party, has dedicated most of his time to the north Karnataka region, where the party is weak. He has been campaigning extensively in Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Koppal, Bagalkot and Belgaum districts to  make inroads into the BJP base.

In south Karnataka region, where the party has a strong base, the local leaders have been tasked to manage the campaign. The party is confident of sweeping Hassan, Mandya, Mysore, Ramanagara, Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, Chikkaballapur and Kolar districts in the south and Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur and Koppal in the north. In all, it hopes to win 14 ZPs and 90 TPs.

Big gains
The JD(S) is hoping to make big gains in the Malnad and Coastal regions in these elections with the help of senior leader S Bangarappa, who joined the party recently. Bangarappa is still the leader of the backward classes, in particular the Idiga community, in these regions.

The performance of the JD(S) in the ZP and TP polls will be crucial for the party to make preparations for the next Assembly elections. The call by the party leaders for re-uniting the erstwhile Janata Parivar leaders will gain ground, only if the JD(S) puts up a decent show.

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