Karnataka likely to opt for regional parties in Assembly poll

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Mysore, Apr 27(UNI) A debate on the relevance of national parties and the growth of regional parties has gained momentum before Assembly elections in Karnataka in view of the alleged failure of the national parties to protect the interests of the state.

Political sources said in the 2004 Assembly polls, 32 political parties were in the fray, out of which, five were national parties, two state-parties, seven state-level parties, based in other states and 18 were non-recognised, but registered parties, apart from Independents.

The national parties included, Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India(Marxist) while two state parties were, Janata Dal(Secular)(JD-S) and Janata Dal(United)(JD-U).

The national parties accounted for 65.81 per cent of the total votes polled in the state, or 16.53 million voters, out of 25.12 million votes cast in the 2004 elections.

The JD(S) and JD(U) accounted for 22.83 per cent of the total votes polled or 5.73 million votes. Together, they fielded 246 candidates, of whom, 58 JD(S) and five JD(U) candidates won, while 118 forfeited their deposits.

In contrast, Samajwadi Party(SP), Shiv Sena and Trinamool Congress, are not regional parties in the true sense, but Karnataka units of the parties, based in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal. Their performance was below par in the last Assembly polls, when out of 38 candidates, 37 forfeited their deposits and together they accounted for 0.35 per cent of the total 86994 votes polled.

Bharatiya Praja Paksha(BPP), All India Forward Bloc(AIFB), Republican Party of India(RPI), Ambedkar National Congress(ANC).

Indian Christian Secular Party(ICSP), were among other non-recognised and registered parties which contested the polls in 2004.

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