Stage set for Council poll

Stage set for Council poll

93 candidates for 23 seats

Stage set for Council poll

The political fortunes of 93 candidates including 21 BJP nominees, 16 Congress, eight JD(S), besides 44 independents, and one candidate each from JD(U) and Vatal Paksha will be decided by an electorate comprising 93,673 elected representatives of urban and rural local bodies.

Sitting BJP MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary and Congress candidate Pratapchandra Shetty have already been declared unopposed to the Legislative Council from the Dakshina Kannada local authorities constituency.  

State Joint Chief Electoral Officer B V Kulkarni told reporters in Bangalore on Thursday that polling officials have already reached their respective jurisdiction. In all, more than 13,000 polling officials, including 1,000 supervisory staff, will be involved. Each polling booth will have a presiding officer and a polling officer, he said.

Crucial poll

The election is crucial to BJP which is in minority in the 75-member House.  Presently, the BJP and Congress have 28 seats each. Of the remaining seats, 13 are held by JD(S), three independents, one by JD(U), while one seat is vacant.

Of the 25 seats going to polls on Friday, four are held by the BJP, while as many as 19 are held by the Congress. The BJP sees the polls as an opportunity to wean away a few seats from the Congress and gain an upper hand. Winning at least 12 seats would mean that the BJP would be in a position even to have its own candidates as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the House.

The polls will witness straight fights between the BJP and the JD(S) and the BJP and the Congress thanks to the electoral alliance between the two rivals of the saffron party.

The prominent personalities in the fray include former ministers Basavaraj Patil Humnabad (Bidar-BJP), Veerakumar Patil (Belgaum - Congress), T John (Kodagu- Congress). Producer of Kannada super hit film Mungaru Male E Krishnappa, retiring MLCs Naseer Ahmed, N Manjunath, former legislator Mahima Patel (the son of former CM the late J H Patel ) are among the candidates in fray. While the number of seats in Bidar, Gulbarga, Uttara Kannada, Raichur, Bellary, Chitradurga, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Hassan, Tumkur, Mandya, Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Kolar and Kodagu districts is one each, it is two each in Bijapur, Belgaum, Dharwad, and Mysore districts.  Polling will be from 8 am to 4 pm. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 21.