The Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police have been asked to ensure that gram panchayat elections are conducted in a free and fair manner in the eight taluks of the district, said Labour Minister B.N. Bache Gowda, who is also the Minister in charge of Hassan, here on Monday.

He said he had asked for adequate security arrangements at polling booths slotted as hypersensitive, sensitive and non-sensitive, so that people could exercise their franchise without fear.

Mr. Gowda said that even though gram panchayat elections are fought on non-party basis, political parties support candidates. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken this election seriously because it is the grassroots-level election that provides the foundation. He said the BJP would emerge stronger in this election in Hassan. Though it is weak in Holenarasipur and Channarayapatna, it would emerge stronger in the remaining six taluks.

Mr. Gowda said the BJP Government would complete two years on May 9 and a big function had been arranged on that day in Bangalore. The legislature session would begin on June 10 and would be on for 20 days.

Former minister Nagaraja Shetty, State BJP Mahila Morcha secretary Sharavani Sadashiva and district BJP president Sunder was also present.

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