Polls to urban local bodies in Karnataka tomorrow

In what is being seen as a "semi-final" before assembly elections due in May, polls to urban local bodies in BJP-ruled Karnataka will be held tomorrow.

About 85 lakh people are eligible to cast their ballot in 208 urban local bodies (excluding Bangalore) -- seven city corporations, 43 city municipal corporations, 65 town municipal councils and 93 town panchayats.

The polls are sure to be a "litmus test" for the contending political outfits, with assembly polls just around the corner.

Previously in 2007 (BJP government came to power in 2008), the Congress topped the tally, winning 1,606 wards, followed by JDS 1,502 and the BJP 1,180.

Stakes are particularly high for the ruling BJP as the party is without heavyweight B S Yeddyurappa, who last year parted ways and floated his own regional outfit Karnataka Janata Party (KJP).

KJP and BSR Congress of B Sriramulu, a former BJP Minister, is testing the political waters for the first time.

There are over 21,000 candidates in the fray for a total of 4,967 wards. Results would be declared on March 11.

"We will win at least 1,600 to 1,800 wards", JDS state unit President H D Kumaraswamy said.

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