BELLARY: Eleven Congress members of the Raichur Zilla Panchayat and 12 members of the Manvi Taluk Panchayat in Raichur district joined the Bhartiya Janata Party here on Sunday.
With this, the strength of the BJP in the 35-member Congress-controlled zilla panchayat has gone up to 16. Earlier, four of the seven Janata Dal (Secular) members of the panchayat had joined the BJP which had only one member in the panchayat. The BJP is short of only two members to gain majority in the zilla panchayat.
The 11 Congress members joined the BJP under the leadership of Sanna Fakirappa, BJP candidate for the Raichur Lok Sabha constituency.
The 11 Congress members of the zilla panchayat who joined the BJP are Siddaramaiah G. , Nagamma Parimarti, Hanumanthappa Togari, Madhav Naganna, Seethamma Ranganath, Fakiramma M. Nakashi, Saraswati Basangouda Daddal, Doddabasavaraj, Amresh Angadi , Gangamma Venkanagoud and Gangamma Kariyappa .
The 12 members of the Manvi Taluk Panchayat who joined the BJP on Sunday are: Basanagouda P., Venkataswamy, Shekarappa, Mallamma, Hanumanth Nagalapur, Geeta Sanna Amaresh, Padmavati Karegoud, Kariyappa Rayappa and Rangappa Pujari (all from Congress); and Hussain Basha, Channama Shivaraj and Brindavanbai (independents).