Caste factor to play major role in civic polls
The Times of India News Service
HAVERI: It is not the party or the performance of the candidates, what is expected to come out with the winning of elections by candidates in the local town municipal elections to be held here in the district is the caste. In all the taluks, forward caste population is more compared to backward and minorities. Caste is likely to be the key factor for voters to choose their candidate.
The Congress party has been wise under the leadership of District Congress President (DCC) Manohar Tahsildar in selecting the candidates looking into the population of different communities in the respective wards. Some of the prominent contestants facing election on Congress ticket are the immediate past president of Haveri Town Municipal Council, immediate past vice-president Shobha R. Magavi, council member I.U. Pathan, Ratna Bheemakkanavar, Mailarappa Bhogale, Kamalamma Naduvinmatah. These have been given B forms looking into their relation with the public here and their concern over their respective wards.
The Janata Dal (both United and Secular) under the leadership of former minister C.M. Udasi has also choosen equally good candidates. Now there is a multicornered contest in most of the wards of the district as there are many independent candidates and BJP candidates are found in the fray. However, the Congress has already opened its account in the district as its 10 members have been elected unopposed.
One JD (U) candidate is declared elected unopposed. The maximum number of Congress candidates elected unopposed in the district are from Byadagi. As many as five out of 10 are from Byadagi and three from Pattan Panchayat Bankapur. The other prominent candidates trying their luck in the elections are Manjunath Puthalekar, Virupaksha R. Havanur, Prof V.C. Koragal, Rajput.
The candidates who have been declared elected unopposed are: Mangala Shivajogappa Kadekoppa, Ramanna Hanumantappa Kodihalli, Nadavva Yallappa Gadagkar, Durugesh Mariyappa Malagi, Babusab Saidusab Halageri (all five for TMC of Byadagi), Abdulrazak Chamansab Jamadar, Manjula Basavanneppa Ranoji and Chandrakala Satish Vanahalli (all three for Pattan Panchayat of Bankapur), Neelavva Hanumantapp Hiragappanavar and Babar Balayya Ballari (both for Pattan Panchayat of Shiggaon) and Karasabi Bibi Badarsab (Haveri TMC).
Election process began for 165 wards in the district, and with the candidates elected unopposed, the voting will be held on May 3 for 154 wards. The total number of wards for the local body elections is as follows: Ranebennur (31), Haveri (27), Byadagi-Savanur-Hanagal (23 each), Shiggaon (20) and Bankapur (18). About 1,64,668 voters of which 85,095 are men and 79,571 are women are excercising their franchise on May 3.
The counting of ballot papers will be held on May 4 in the district. Deputy Commissioner T. Muktamba has already informed the contestants that the post election processions, functions have been banned in the district from May 4 to 7. The DC has also banned the sale of liquor in the district from May 1 to 5 so as to maintain law and order and also to ensure free and fair elections. The shandy and jatras of May 3 and 4 at Haveri, Hanagal and Savanur have been postponed, said DC T. Muktamba.