Parties intensify campaign for ULBs

Udupi: With only two days left for the urban local body (ULB) elections, political parties have intensified their campaign with the Congress trying its best to repeat the success it achieved in the 2013 ULB elections and the BJP hoping to regain its lost glory.  In the election held in 2013, a few months after the Congress came to power in the state, the party grabbed 8 of the 11 ULBs in Udupi and DK district. The BJP suffered even in its strongholds like Udupi and Puttur municipalities.

Though Congress leader want to repeat history, sources admitted that it was not as easy as it was five years ago. “In 2013, Congress leaders had put up a united fight against the BJP. But this time, it is not the case,” a senior Congress leader told Deccan Chronicle. “Though the reservation pattern has changed in some BJP strongholds, it may not help Congress much. BJP leaders are united with their party MLAs working vigorously to ensure a victory. Such an effort is missing in Congress camp,” a Congress leader said.

The absence of a strong leader in both the districts is also worrying the  Congress. “Senior leaders like Oscar Fernandes in Udupi and Janardhan Poojary in Dakshina Kannada would plan strategy and arrange funds for the campaign earlier. But this time both of them have kept themselves away from the elections due to health problems,” he said.

“In Dakshina Kannada, we are confident of winning Ullal. There is a tough fight in Bantwal and Puttur despite the hard work by Ramanath Rai and Shakunthala Shetty. In Udupi district too we will face a tough fight," a Congress office bearer said. Buoyed by the win in the districts in the recent assembly elections, BJP leaders are confident of victory in four ULBs in Udupi and two in DK.

The party is trying to encash on the anti incumbency factor and also on PM Modi’s development mantra. “People are unhappy with the lackadaisical Congress rule in ULBs. Except for the funds released by Mr Yeddyurappa, nothing much has come for development,” said Udupi-Chikkamagaluru BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje while campaigning for the party candidates in Udupi on Tuesday. “We are confident of winning all ULBs in Udupi district,” she added. The recent rain and landslides too have made the ULB election lose its charm. 

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