The Reddy brothers of Bellary have reportedly begun ‘Operation Lotus'
The Bharatiya Janata Party has set sights on gaining control of the Raichur Zilla Panchayat, elections to which threw up a hung verdict.
In the 35-member zilla panchayat, the Congress won 15 seats, the BJP 11 seats and the Janata Dal (Secular) nine seats.
No party has a simple majority of 18 seats. The Congress is short by three seats while the BJP is short by seven seats. However, the combined strength of the Congress and JD(S) parties is 24.
The two parties have formally agreed to come to an understanding. President of the district unit of the Congress A. Vasanthkumar, in a statement on Wednesday, expressed that his party had been developing the necessary strategy to capture the zilla panchayat with the help of members from the JD(S).
However, sources in the district unit of the BJP told The Hindu on Thursday that the BJP was confident of gaining control of the Raichur ZP.
Capturing the zilla panchayat has become a matter of prestige for Health Minister B. Sriramulu, who is also in charge of the district. According to sources, the Reddy brothers of Bellary have reportedly begun ‘Operation Lotus'.
The sources said that the BJP leaders have been trying to contact all the nine elected members from the JD(S). However, six of them were staunch followers of the former Minister K. Shivangouda Naik.
In this context, the BJP has targeted the Congress members instead, the sources said. The BJP came to power in the previous zilla panchayat when 11 Congress members and six JD (S) members defected to the BJP during the second term.