Four Udupi urban local bodies to go to the polls

the hindu, 05-08-2018 21:12:55

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Four Udupi urban local bodies to go to the polls

Political parties gear up to face the elections

With the State Election Commission (SEC) announcing the dates for the local body polls on Thursday, four civic bodies will go to the polls in Udupi district on August 29.

They are the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC), the Kundapur Town Municipal Council (TMC), the Karkala Town Municipal Council (TMC) and the Saligrama Town Panchayat.

The local body polls will be a test for all major political parties in the district, including the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Janata Dal (Secular). All these parties had been preparing for the civic polls since the last two months.

Once again, it is likely to be a battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress in all the four places. The CPI (M), which has strong presence in Kundapur, will try to prove a point, while the Janata Dal(S) will try to build its base.

In the 2013 local bodies polls, the Congress won in Udupi and Karkala, while Kundapur and Saligrama went to the BJP.

In the 2013 polls, of the 35 wards in Udupi CMC, the Congress won 22 seats and the BJP 12. One seat was won by an independent candidate. Of the 23 wards in Karkala TMC, the Congress won 12, and the BJP 11. However, of the 23 wards in Kundapur TMC, the BJP won 12 seats, the Congress nine and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) two. Of the 14 wards in Saligrama Town Panchayat, the BJP won eight seats and the Congress six.

However, power has since shifted in Karkala and Saligrama towns because of voting rights to parliamentarians and legislators in local bodies and other factors.

The BJP, which won all five Assembly seats in the Udupi district in the Assembly elections in May 2018, will put in all its efforts to repeat the performance. “We have already held meetings and decided on our probable candidates. We will emerge victorious in all the four places,” Mattar Ratnkar Hegde, district BJP president, told The Hindu.

For the Congress, it will be a chance to recover the ground lost in the Assembly polls. “The issues for the Assembly polls and civic polls are different. We will field suitable candidates as per reservation in all the four places. The Assembly poll results will not be repeated,” said Janardhan Tonse, president of the Udupi District Congress Committee.

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