The Karnataka State Election Commission on Thursday announced that voting to 105 urban local bodies will be held on August 29, reported the Hindustan Times. Of these local bodies, 70 are in northern Karnataka, where protests for a separate state are on.

Karnataka is run by a coalition government of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular). But the parties are yet to decide if they want to contest the local body polls jointly or individually, as they had done when they had an alliance between 2004 and 2006.

Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao said while the parties had decided to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together, there was no decision yet on the upcoming polls. “Our coordination committee will meet soon and we will come to a decision,” he said.

Danish Ali, the secretary general of the JD(S), said, “We will reach a consensus based on our discussions, which will happen shortly.”

Govind Karajol, Bharatiya Janata Party’s state vice president, said the people would prefer voting for his party than the coalition. “Our organisation is very strong and the misrule of the current government is very obvious,” he said.

Karajol added that the BJP will highlight the injustice meted out to the northern region by the HD Kumaraswamy-led government. “While the contest in that area is a direct one between us and the Congress, because the JD(S) does not exist in those areas, we will highlight Congress’ failure to ensure that the northern region was allocated more funds despite being a coalition partner,” he said.

However, a bandh called by some outfits on Thursday to demand a separate state for northern Karnataka did not find many takers, reported The Hindu. Various farmers’ and students’ organisations had called for the shutdown across all 13 districts of the region.