He is using the election to show his strength in Shettar’s home district

Election to the post of zilla panchayat president scheduled here on Wednesday has assumed political significance following reports of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa trying to use it to show his strength in Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar’s home district.

According to sources in the BJP, Mr. Yeddyurappa, who recently announced forming a new party and warned the BJP against taking action against his loyalists, had asked his supporters to see to it that the president’s post went to one of his supporters.

While Mr. Shettar had assigned the job of choosing the member for the president’s post to his loyalist and Navalgund MLA Shankar Patil Munenkoppa, Kalghatgi MLA S. I. Chikkanagoudar has entered the fray on behalf of Mr. Yeddyurappa, demanding that he get to choose the member for the district’s top political post, the sources added.

Contenders

With elections to the Assembly just a few months away, Mr. Shettar wanted to appoint a dynamic person who could lead the party from front in his home district. Members Yallappa Dasanakoppa of Mishrikoti, Shankarappa Agadi of Devikoppa, and Mahabaleshwar Annigeri of Koliwad emerged as top contenders. Mr. Dasanakoppa, who is from Mr. Shettar’s home town, was said to be the party’s choice. Besides, Ratnavva Kattimani of Adargunchi and Nirmala Uppin of Saunshi had staked claim on grounds that women members should be given opportunity.

Now, Ms. Kallimani is allegedly lobbying for the post with Mr. Chikkanagiudar’s support. A BJP leader, who did not wish to be identified, said the party leadership feared that Ms. Kallimani would join hands with the Opposition to grab the post if her candidature was not accepted.

In the 22-member House, the BJP has 15 members, the Congress six and the JD(S) one.

All are curious about the election results, keeping in mind that the district has a history of members defying party diktats and supporting rebels to get elected to top posts.

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