K’taka CM faces yet another challenge of local body polls

Bengaluru: Close on the heels of Legislative Council elections on December 10, the ruling BJP in Karnataka and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will face another challenge of winning elections to the 58 local bodies scheduled to be held on December 27.

The elections to 58 local bodies whose tenure ended in 2019 and 2021 were declared on Monday. The elections will be held for five city corporations, 19 municipalities, and 34 town municipalities. The by-elections will also be held for 19 posts. The results will be out on December 30.

The elections to 1,264 gram panchayat seats which are vacated for various reasons would also be held and code of conduct will be implemented from December 13.

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Chief Minister Bommai is under tremendous pressure to win a majority in Legislative Council elections for 25 seats after the defeat in Hangal bypoll held recently. When the party is gearing up to council elections, Bommai is expected to sweep local body elections at the grassroots level to prove a point to the high command that he can win elections.

The Congress on the other hand is looking formidable after party’s national president Sonia Gandhi met Opposition leader Siddaramaiah last month during bypolls. Congress President D.K. Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, who are eying for the post of Chief Minister in case of Congress victory in state general assembly elections, have buried their hatchet to put up a united fight.

Both leaders have successfully put the ruling BJP in a spot over the Bitcoin scandal and recently demanded implementation of the President’s Rule in the state over corruption allegations.

On the other hand, BJP remained a divided house as top leaders are not happy over how Chief Minister Bommai is being projected as the face of the party.

Minister for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development K.S. Eshwarappa declared that Murugesh Nirani, Minister for Industries is capable to become the Chief Minister. Later, Nirani clarified that it was just a statement of appreciation.

However, party sources said that Chief Minister Bommai has a tough job on hand as he has to face united, strong opposition as well as fight the dissidence and disgruntled elements within the party.

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