Bengaluru: The Congress has set itself an ambitious target of winning at least four of the six city corporations and more than 2,000 wards in the urban local bodies (ULBs) except BBMP, which go to polls on Thursday. The ULB poll results could be an indictor of the way the wind will blow in the Assembly polls, now hardly two months away.
The party had come first in the last polls in 2007 winning around 1,650 wards while JD(S) had won 1,550 seats and BJP 1,100 seats then. This time, Congress leaders are hoping to make inroads in many BJP dominated constituencies in north Karnataka where the KJP could split the united BJP’s vote bank. The party could however face a threat from BSR-Congress and JD(S) candidates in many constituencies, said sources.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a source in the KPCC said: “We have set our sights on winning seats the BJP and JD(S) won in 2007.” The party is confident of sweeping the Gulbarga, Hubli-Dharwad, Mysore and Mangalore city corporation polls while in Belgaum and Mysore, it may have to look for alliances to come to power.
Party leaders are also upbeat about winning 2000 wards in smaller local bodies including town municipal and city municipal councils. Though the elections are being fought on political lines, source said party affiliations hardly matter with caste and ‘inducements’ including cash and freebies likely to sway the voter more.
All parties are keeping a close watch on the results and know it could be the trendsetter for the assembly polls.
In Hyderabad –Karnataka, the Congress is likely to benefit from the announcement of special status for the region by the Centre. Party heavyweights including Union minister Malikarjun Kharge and former CM Dharam Singh have gone all out to make sure ULBs in the five districts go the Congress way.