H.S. Narasimha Kumar

Janata Dal (S) comes up with a surprising tally

BJP hoped to net 12 zilla panchayat seats The party has three MLAs, one MP from the district Not a single State-level leader of the Janata Dal (S) toured the district during campaigning

DAVANGERE: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has three MLAs and one MP from the district, put up a disappointing show in the Davangere Zilla Panchayat, which went the Congress way.

The BJP was confident of garnering a chunk of seats in the zilla and taluk panchayat elections. It had hoped to win three zilla panchayat seats from each of the three Assembly constituencies. The party leaders were on a brisk tour of the district during campaigning. Infighting among the rank and file of the party at district level and even at the higher level surfaced during the campaign. Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly B.S. Yediurappa, party general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar, party State unit president Jagadish Shettar, and Mukymanthri Chandru were among the leaders who toured the district. While Mr. Yediurappa toured Honnali and Jagalur, Mr. Ananth Kumar had started his campaign in Mayakonda Assembly Constituency.

The Janata Dal (Secular), which won nine seats in the zilla panchayat, appeared to have conceded defeat even before the elections.

Its campaigning lacked the fizz. Not a single State-level leader of the party toured the district for campaigning. Deputy Chief Minister M.P. Prakash visited Harpanahalli for a day since Harpanahalli was adjacent to his constituency of Hoovinahadagali.

Mahima Patel, Chennagiri MLA and secretary General of the party, confined his campaign to the panchayat constituencies in his area.

The other leaders of the party seemed to be under an impression that it was difficult to face the elections against the Congress and the BJP in most of the places in the district.

The performance of the Janata Dal (S) came as a pleasant surprise to its leaders. It won 26 taluk panchayat seats.