Stage set for first phase of panchayat polls in Karnataka

An estimated 1.11 crore electorate will exercise their franchise in the first phase of Zilla and Taluk Panchayat elections being held across 12 districts in Karnataka on Sunday.

Updated: Dec 25, 2010, 21:38 PM IST

Bangalore: An estimated 1.11 crore electorate
will exercise their franchise in the first phase of Zilla and
Taluk Panchayat elections being held across 12 districts in
Karnataka on Sunday.

There are 6144 candidates in the fray, including 1549 for
Zilla panchayats, state Election Commission Sources said.

Elections are being held to 375 Zilla Panchayat and
1728 Taluk Panchayat seats.

The polls have turned out to be an acid test for the ruling
BJP, which is making all out efforts to win majority of Zilla
panchayats to prove its popularity in the wake of combined
onslaught on it by opposition Congress and JDS which have
hurled a spate of allegations of corruption and land scams
against the B S Yeddyurappa government.

Yeddyurappa has campaigned in all the districts that face
voting in the first phase as his own personal popularity
and his government`s performance is at test.

Congress, which has not been able to put up a good show
hitherto in the bye-elections held in the states after BJP
came to power since 2008, has been struggling to revive its
fortunes with the new KPCC President G Parameshwara.

JDS, which released documents on scams in which the
Yeddyurappa government is allegedly involved in, is upbeat
and leaving no stone unturned to prove its strength in the
elections.

Polling will be held in the districts of Bangalore Urban,
Bangalore Rural, Ramanagara, Chitradurga, Kolar, Shimoga,
Chikkaballapur, Tumkur, Bidar, Bellary, Raichur and Yadgir.

The second phase of election will be held on December
31 and votes counted on January four.

PTI