Party to release manifesto on February 20

Stating that the forthcoming elections to urban local bodies are the semi-finals of the Assembly polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to launch a massive campaign ahead of the ULB polls on February 28.

Speaking to presspersons after a special meeting of party functionaries, including members of the ULBs, legislators and Ministers here on Saturday, BJP State general secretary Raghunath Rao Malkapure said the party will release the ULB manifesto on February 20.

He said the list of candidates will be finalised by February 19. Candidates will be selected on the basis of local feedback by the district units of the party and the State unit will not play a role in the selection, he said.

Of the seven city corporations, 43 city municipal councils, 65 town municipal councils and 93 town panchayats, the BJP is in power in three corporations (Mangalore, Hubil-Dharwad and Mysore), 12 city councils, 23 town councils and 19 town panchayats with 1,492 members out of the total 4,976 members. With these numbers, the party is confident of winning more seats and local bodies in the coming elections, Mr. Malkapure said.

Mr. Malkapure said the party will seek votes on the basis of the performance of the BJP government in the last four years. The success stories, he said, will definitely bring the party to power in almost all the local bodies, he said.

Though it was the BJP government that provided 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies, it could not give effect to the policy [because of the Supreme Court directive]. “We wanted the elections to be held based on the 2011 Census after effecting delimitation of wards. However, the polls will now be held on the basis of the 2001 Census, without 50 per cent reservation for women,” he regretted.

Mr. Malkapure also said a State-level brainstorming session (Chintan Baithak) of the party will be held in Bangalore on February 19 to chalk out the party strategy for the elections to ULBs as well as the Assembly.