The first phase of elections to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in Karnataka is going to be held on 31 August after being postponed by two days. Elections will also be held to three major city corporations, in Mysuru, Tumakuru and Shivamogga as the Karnataka High Court cleared a case regarding reservation of wards in these constituencies.
All the three major political parties in the state ie. the Congress, the JD(S) and the BJP have fielded candidates in the 2,574 wards in 105 local bodies going to the polls. Elections in three ULBs in Kodagu have been postponed owing to heavy rain as voters are still residing in relief camps in the district, The Hindu reported.
"Polling will be held in 29 municipal corporations, 53 town municipalities and 23 town panchayats across Karnataka," State Election Commissioner (SEC) P Srinivasachari told reporters in Bengaluru on Thursday. The counting of votes for these elections will be done on 1 September.
The wards, which are spread over eight districts of south Karnataka, three districts in the coastal region and 11 districts of north Karnataka, have a registered voter base of more than 3.6 million.
However, elections to nearly 100 other local bodies, including in Bengaluru, will be held later (in the second phase in November) as these are yet to complete their terms, the SEC said, according to IANS. The state has a total of 212 urban local bodies and in the second phase, elections will be held to the remaining 107 urban bodies, including seven city corporations.
During the elections to be held on Friday, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used and over 40,000 security personnel will be deployed for the local polls, the EC said.
The JD(S) and Congress, which are in a coalition in the state government, are pitted against each other in the ULB polls. Thus, the contest will be interesting since the BJP will try its best to regain its hold in the state after losing a chance at power by a few seats in the Assembly election in May 2018. With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections not far, the triangular contest is expected to be keenly fought.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the Congress has suspended a number of its members for defying the party discipline and entering the electoral fray. In the 2013 elections, the Congress had performed the best by securing nearly 40 percent of the wards.
Updated Date: Aug 30, 2018 19:37 PM