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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Assembly polls: Clock is ticking for BJP in K'taka

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  Bangalore/ New Delhi, March 21, 2013
First Published: 00:13 IST(21/3/2013) | Last Updated: 19:37 IST(2/5/2013)

Days after the ruling BJP’s big debacle in the urban local bodies’ polls, the election commission announced the dates for the assembly polls in Karnataka on Wednesday. The election will be held in a single phase on May 5.

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The counting would be on May 8, said Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath in Delhi while announcing the poll schedule for the 224-member assembly.

This gives the BJP a little more than a month to get its act together. Already weakened by the exit of BS Yeddyurappa and his group, the party had posted abysmal results in the civic polls last week, winning 906 wards against 1,960 of the Congress.

The BJP does not shine where governance is concerned either.

Various scandals — including the mining scam and the land scam — had surfaced over the last five years, costing various ministers their posts.

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Law and order has emerged as a big issue. So has moral policing by the right-wing groups. The administration is facing a logjam, thanks to bickering between the legislators.

The state is suffering from power and water crisis. Maoist activities are expected to affect election results in parts of the western ghats.

There are other problems too. The BJP’s first successful foray in the south involved the collaboration of powerful groups, notably the mining baron Reddy brothers and the Lingayat votebank.

“But now the BJP has lost the support of Reddys, BSY has taken the Lingayat leaders with him and the costal Karnataka, the party’s traditional bastion, showed a preference for the Congress in the civic polls,” said A Narayana, political analyst and assistant professor of Azim Premji University.

Antony to head Congress poll panel
The Congress on Wednesday formed a committee headed by defence minister AK Antony for the May 5 assembly polls in Karnataka. The other members are Ambika Soni, Vayalar Ravi, Luizinho Faleiro and Jitendra Singh.


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