In poll time, Kolar politics at crossroads

Bigwigs switching sides likely to have a bearing on election outcome

While candidates would look to emerge winners, leaders of the various parties would like to utilise the elections as an opportunity to establish their leadership at the grassroots level.

One key leader who is expected to influence the outcome of the elections this time is MLA Varthur Prakash and he is said to be responsible for dissent brewing in the different parties, given that he has poached a number of leaders to contest as independents supported by him.

Resentment

In the Congress, it was Union Minister of State for Railways, K H Muniyappa, who finalised the candidates for the elections, and this has led to resentment among other prominent leaders.

The party has not put up candidates in one Zilla Panchayat seat and five Taluk Panchayat seats. Many in the Congress believe that this was the result of a ‘secret understanding’ between Muniyappa and Prakash. But the two leaders have denied that they have a pact.

The Congress, which had won handsomely in the last elections, faces a tough opponent in the JD(S) this time. Former minister Srinivasagowda, had recently quit the Congress to join the JD(S) and he is expected to upset the applecart for the Congress.

Those Congress leaders who switched sides to the JD(S) with Srinivasagowda, have been given JD(S) tickets, setting off resentment among the old-timers who were expecting tickets and workers in that party.

Srinivasagowda, who is back in his home party, is trying to establish his supremacy in the affairs of the party in the district.

Disenchantment in BJP

A similar disenchantment is brewing among the BJP workers in the district with the entry of former Congress MLA M Narayanaswamy into the party. The loyal workers and leaders of the party feel that they have been a short shrift in their own party. Though the BJP’s top leaders make tall claims that their party would emerge victorious, workers on the ground admitted that was is not an easy task, with two strong opponents like the Congress and the JD(S).

In vain 

JD(S) tried in vain to get the CPI(M) candidates to withdraw from the fray in its favour.  JD(S)’ efforts to form an alliance with the CPI(M) also failed. There is a possibility of the CPI(M) candidates spoiling the chances of the Congress and the JD(S).

Thus there is an interplay of various factors, including the party-hopping of several political bigwigs. Thus, for the pollsters, it will be difficult to make speculations about the local body elections in the district.

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