Staff Correspondent

Independent members set to play kingmakers Independents set to play kingmakers in zilla panchayat

Congress and the JD(S)-BJP combine have nine seats each There are three independent members Election for the two posts scheduled for January 25

DHARWAD: With the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) relations hitting a low, the latter is aligning with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to stake claim for power in the Dharwad Zilla Panchayat where no party has a majority. The Janata Dal (S) Dharwad District unit president Shivananda Holehadagali announced his party's decision here.

In the 22-member House, the Congress is the single largest party with nine seats followed by the Janata Dal (S) with six seats and the BJP three seats. There are three independents and a lone Janata Party member.

The Janata Dal (S) and the BJP together have nine seats and the Congress too has nine seats.

Although Mr. Holehadagali said the reason for not aligning with the Congress is its failure to fulfil the development needs of the district, the impact of the recent developments on the Janata Dal (S) stand is evident. This puts independent members in the role of kingmakers.

The support of the lone Janata Party candidate too is crucial now.

The three independents, Shivappa Huttappa Karjagi from Kamadolli constituency, Mallikarjungowda Basavanagowda Patil from Yaliwal, Tawanappa Payappa Ashtagi from Uppina Betageri and Ashok Irappa Kusugal of Janata Party from Alagawadi, will be the most sought after.

The election is scheduled for January 25.