The results will affect their chances to contest Assembly polls

The announcement of dates for the Urban Local Bodies’ polls by the State Election Commission has shaken the legislators, especially the MLAs, as the results of these polls will have a bearing on their own prospects for the next Assembly elections.

“So far we were focussed only on our own elections to the Assembly. Now the ULB polls will be an additional burden for us. As this is happening before the Assembly elections, the onus of monitoring the ULB polls in our respective constituencies is entirely on us,” an MLA observed.

Why the legislators, especially the MLAs are nervous about ULB polls scheduled ahead of the Assembly elections is that any setback in the ULB polls in their constituency may not only spoil their Assembly poll prospects, but also come in the way of they getting the party ticket.

Another MLA, who wished not to be quoted, lamented that in the above context, the MLAs did not have any option but to sponsor the elections of the ULB candidates in their constituencies. “This would mean that the spending for whoever wants to contest the forthcoming Assembly elections will begin from the ULB polls itself,” he said.

The tension among legislators was visible with attendance in both the Houses of the State legislature dwindling soon after the announcement of poll dates. A functionary of a political party told The Hindu that the legislators were keen to return to their constituencies soon after the legislature session ends on Friday.

Tricky for parties

The timing of the ULB polls has turned out to be tricky for all the three major political parties — the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular). The State president of a prominent political party had told this correspondent before the announcement of the poll dates that the major political parties were fearing that the disappointed ULB ticket aspirants may turn out to be a threat for the parties in the Assembly elections.

“For every ULB seat, we have three to five aspirants. Our strategy was to engage all of them to work for the Assembly elections and make them prove their mettle. But the problem of holding ULB polls just before Assembly elections is that we will miss the services of disappointed ULB aspirants for the Assembly polls.”

The BJP has convened a meeting of its legislators, MPs, office-bearers and office-bearers of its front organisations at Bangalore Palace Grounds on Saturday to deliberate on the ULB polls.

While the timing of ULB polls has become tricky for the three major parties, these polls have provided an opportunity for new parties like Karnataka Janata Paksha and BSR-Congress to build their cadre ahead of the Assembly polls. The BJP fears that the KJP of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa may accommodate its disappointed ticket aspirants in the ULB polls.

  • MLAs wil now have to sponsor the elections of the ULB candidates in their constituencies

  • Disappointed ULB ticket aspirants may become a threat to parties in Assembly polls