The upcoming elections to the urban local bodies is expected to help the Bharatiya Janata Party assess the loyalties of its cadre ahead of the Assembly polls as the battle lines are going to be drawn between it and the Karnataka Janata Paksha.
It will be an indicator of its public acceptance too.
There have been claims and counter claims in the BJP and the KJP about the strength of its cadre as the process of splits and political realignments are still going on in the BJP in the wake of some of its leaders and elected representatives following their former leader B.S. Yeddyurappa.
In fact, Mr. Yeddyurappa had gone to the extent of describing the Jagadish Shettar government as a “coalition government” indicating that his supporters too were part of the BJP.
“A clear picture on the cadre strength of the party will emerge now as the battle lines are going to be drawn between us and the KJP. The time has come for our leaders and workers to indicate whether they will support us or the KJP,” sources in the BJP said.
Though there are apprehensions about facing the ULB polls just before the Assembly elections, BJP top leaders feel that they would help them to know the loyalties of their cadre. “This will help us to understand our realistic strength and have strategies accordingly for the Assembly polls,” sources said.
BJP national general secretary and State in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan is participating in the brain-storming session to be held in Bangalore on Tuesday to evolve strategies for the ULB polls. It will also finalise the party’s programmes for the remaining term of the Assembly.
Meanwhile, the KJP is preparing to make the best use of the ULB polls to build its cadre ahead of the Assembly elections. The main hitch for the party is that it will get the symbol only during the Assembly elections.
In this context, the party wants all its candidates in the ULB polls to choose a common symbol to avoid confusion. KJP campaign committee chairman Dhananjay Kumar told The Hindu that the party wanted its members to choose coconut as its symbol for the ULB polls.
The KJP has convened a meeting of its office-bearers and prominent leaders here on Monday to decide its strategies for the ULB polls.