With barely a few hours left for the results of the elections to the 207 urban local bodies (ULBs) to be announced, political leaders are keeping their fingers crossed as the outcome is being seen as a pointer to the Assembly election results.

A senior Congress leader said, “The ULB elections is viewed as a preparatory examination for party leaders as they can claim ticket for their supporters to contest the Assembly elections based on their performance in this election.”

If the results of the elections to the ULBs in Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts are crucial for Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, the outcome of the polls in Tumkur district is significant for Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara. Union Minister for Labour M. Mallikarjun Kharge’s popularity is expected to rise if the Congress fares well in north Karnataka, particularly in Gulbarga district. Congress sources said the election outcome in Ramanagaram district would be a gauge to assess the popularity of the former Minister D.K. Shivakumar, who is on a sticky wicket because of his alleged involvement in the mining scam.

The results in Shimoga will be keenly watched as the district had become an electoral battlefield for friends turned foes — the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and the former BJP president K.S. Eshwarappa.

The results are also crucial for Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who has been projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate.

Janata Dal (S), which commenced election preparations much ahead of other parties, is hoping to improve its tally. According to the party’s State unit president H.D. Kumaraswamy, the JD(S) is hoping to do well in the four city corporations of Mysore, Hulbi-Dharwad, Davangere and Gulbarga and extend its influence beyond Mysore region.

The former Minister B. Sriramulu of the BSR Congress is aiming to retain his hold on its home turf, Bellary.

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