Post-poll, parties work out alliances for ULB power

Collaborations in 88 civic bodies which have received hung verdict

Post-poll, parties work out alliances for ULB power

Local factors have started taking precedence over ideology with political parties wooing one another and independents for entering into alliances in the urban local bodies (ULBs).

The next few days will witness all sorts of alliances — Cong-JD(S), BJP-BSRC, JD(S)-BJP, KJP-Congress — in the 88 ULBs which have thrown up a hung verdict in the March 7 polls. Being poles apart, Cong-BJP tie-ups will be highly unlikely. All major political parties have left tie-up decisions to local leaders.

The BSR Congress (BSRC) of B Sriramulu, though it has won just 86 seats, plays a crucial role in the formation of Gadag-Betegeri City Municipal Council (CMC), Basavakalyana CMC, Lakshmeshwara Town Muncipal Council (TMC) and Molakalmur Taluk Panchayat (TP). No major party is in a position to stake claims without the support of BSRC.

Similary, B S Yeddyurappa’s KJP has every reason to dictate terms to other parties in Ranebennur CMC, Haveri CMC, Challakere TMC, Gundlupet TMC and Byadagi TMC. Without KJP’s blessings, it is difficult for them to hold the reins. Yeddyurappa has so far not opposed tie-ups with any party except the BJP.

The Congress, with its impressive show in the civic polls, has begun the process of wooing independents, who this time have been elected in large numbers. Independent candidates emerged victorious in 776 seats. In Shimoga, Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa on Wednesday said the BJP will consider alliance with parties other than Congress, for the posts of president and vice-president.

KJP President B S Yeddyurappa said his party was ready to sit in the Opposition but will not join hands with the BJP in urban local bodies. Addressing a press conference in Bangalore, Yeddyurappa said his party would decide on alliances depending upon the local situation, but would not consider tie-ups with BJP. The KJP has won 274 seats in 208 ULBs.

JD(S) leader H D Revanna raised many eyebrows by holding nearly an hour-long meeting with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday morning. The guesstimate was that both discussed alliance possibilities in places where they can come to power. Both were not available for comments.

The Congress has already bagged three corporations, 10 CMCs, 37 TMCs and 18 TPs and is in a position to secure power in at least 15 CMCs and 18 TMCs with the support of independents alone.

In several TMCs, including Hoskote, Hosadurga, Srinivasapura, Gowribidanur, K R Nagar, Karkala, Navalgund, Mundargi and Savanur, the Congress is one short of crossing the half-way mark.

Congress-JD(S) alliances are expected in Harihara, Tumkur, Sira, Mandya, Bidar, Yadgir and Shahabad CMCs.

Gulbarga and Mysore City Corporations are likely to continue with the previous term’s Cong-JD(S) alliance. No party has bagged majority in Mysore City Corporation since 1983.
The BJP is learnt to be wooing two independents in Hubli-Dharwad Corporation as it is one seat short of crossing the half-way mark.

Reservation

In all, hung verdicts have been thrown up in four corporations, 26 of the 43 CMCs, 33 of the 92 TMCs and 35 of the 65 TPs in the ULB polls.

The process of officially constituting civic bodies will start once the Urban Development Department notifies the reservation quota for the post of presiding officers.

Usually, the reservation list is notified one month after the completion of elections.

Electing the presiding officers will witness political parties forge alliances to cross the mandatory half-way mark. Speaking in Bangalore, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said there will be no interference from the government in deciding on the reservations.

The BJP, which had decentralised its poll process right from the issue of tickets, has left the tie-up decision to local units.

The BJP has on its own secured two CMCs, 10 TMCs and eight TPs.

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