Congress loses the two posts despite being the single-largest party in the taluk panchayat
M. Vijayakumar of the JD(S) polled 15 votes and was elected presidentS. Hanumantharaya of the BJP was elected vice-presidentThe lone independent candidate supported the candidates of JD(S)-BJP combine
GULBARGA: The Congress had the first taste of the impact of the new-found friendship of the Janata Dal (Secular) and the BJP in the State politics in the elections to the Gulbarga Taluk Panchayat held here on Saturday when its candidates lost the posts of President and Vice President to the candidates of the Janata Dal (S)-BJP combine.
While the Janata Dal (S), which had nine members of the 26-member House, took the president's post, the BJP, which had a strength of five, was allotted the vice-president post in the power sharing arrangement worked out by both the parties.
The lone independent in the panchayat also supported the candidates of Janata Dal (S)-BJP combine, alienating the Congress in the power struggle.
M. Vijayakumar of the Janata Dal (S) polled 15 votes as against 11 by the Congress candidate Naganna Gurulingappa. He was elected the president and S. Hanumantharaya of the BJP, who polled 15 votes as against 11 votes secured by M. Kupendra of the Congress, was elected the vice-president. While the president post was reserved for general category, the vice-president post was reserved for BCA.
While Mr. Vijayakumar was elected from Aurad (B) constituency, Mr. S. Hanumantharaya was elected from Sharanasirasagi constituency.
The result of the Gulbarga Taluk Panchayat elections to the post of president and vice-president should further cement the ties between the Janata Dal (S) and the BJP in the State.
The Congress, which had controlled the Gulbarga Taluk Panchayat last time with a huge majority, won only 11 seats. It emerged the single largest party, but failed to gain majority. Both Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh and the KPCC President Mallikarjun Kharge are from Gulbarga district.
The tie-up between the Janata Dal (S) and the BJP was worked out at the local level.
On expected lines
Elections to the post of president and vice-president of the Surpur Taluk Panchayat was on expected lines with candidates of the All India Progressive Janata Dal (AIPJD) Niganna Badeyapur and Sharanamma Chidananda unanimously being elected president and vice-president.
The victory of the AIPJD, which had won 17 seats in the house of 30 in the election, was a foregone conclusion, and the Congress, which had won only nine seats, did not field its candidates.
While the post of president was reserved for general category, the vice-president's post was reserved for BCA (Woman).
Situation in Surpur
An interesting situation prevails in the Surpur Taluk Panchayat. Surpur MLA Raju Gowda was an associate member of the Congress till the dates of the zilla and taluk panchayat elections were announced.
He joined the AIPJD after the Congress denied tickets to his supporters. Now Mr. Raju Gowda has left the AIPJD and aligned with the Janata Dal (S) and he is one among the signatories in the memorandum submitted by Mr. H.D. Kumaraswamy to the Governor withdrawing support to the Congress in the coalition Government in the State.