Hubballi: The BJP's failed attempt to form its government in Maharashtra and the coming to power of the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP combine is unlikely to have a serious impact on the poll outcome in the three Assembly constituencies in the border district of Belagavi-Gokak, Athani and Kagwad.
This is because the mindset of people in these constituencies is different from that of voters in the neighbouring state. Still, Congress leaders in the district assert that the political developments in Maharashtra could be a source of moral support to them and are leaving no stone unturned to make it an issue during the election campaign to attract voters.
As for the BJP's campaign managers, the loss of power in Maharashtra has no doubt demoralised party leaders but they are trying to push the issue under the carpet by attributing the collapse of the previous coalition government to the Congress party's poor treatment of the disqualified legislators who are now BJP candidates in these constituencies. Going by the trends in the by-elections in the flood-hit constituencies, personality cult is likely to play a major role in determining fortunes. There is a direct contest between candidates belonging to the Congress and BJP with prominent leaders like the Jarkiholi brothers, Dy CM Laxman Savadi and former MLA Raju Kage wielding a lot of clout in these constituencies. Most of the voters may not become any less loyal to their leader even if the disqualified legislators have defected from the Congress and joined the BJP, said sources.
Prominent issues confronting voters are the border dispute with Maharashtra and the Kalasa Banduri canal row with other problems like those confronting farmers becoming irrelevant as the polls approach. Therefore, political observers feel the developments in Maharashtra politics will not impact the-elections in the neighbouring state....