Prime News, Karnataka, Bengaluru, September 28:- In a move that should go a long way in strengthening the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) alliance in the state, the coalition partners managed to grab the plum posts in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in the elections held today. Congress candidate Gangambike Mallikarjun was elected as the 52nd Mayor, while Ramila Umashankar of the JD(S) became Deputy Mayor.
Things were not as easy as one thought. There was pandemonium prior to the elections. Members from the Congress, JD(S) and the BJP were involved in a war of words before the situation could be brought under control. BJP has 121 members followed by Congress (103), JD(S) (21) and independents (8). The BJP could have wrested the initiative with the support from independents and failed in its bid to convince them. Sensing they had no chance to garner the required numbers, BJP corporators staged a walk-out.
Congress-JD(S) with the support of support of five independents reached the magic figure to stake claim.
The elections were necessitated after the term of Mayor R Sampath Raj and Deputy Mayor Padmavathi Narasimhamurthy ended on Thursday. Till Thursday evening, the Congress was engaged in hectic parleys to decide the candidate for the elections.
There were charges against the BJP which was accused of poaching two independent corporators who were supporting the Congress. After the two independent corporators switched loyalties to the BJP, Congress deputed its MLAs ST Somashekhar and Munirathna to keep five other independent corporators under their watch at a resort on the outskirts of the city.
However, KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao had said on Thursday that he was confident of getting the support from the two corporators. “We have with us all the independent corporators except for the two who are learnt to have gone to the rival side. We are confident that they will also come back,” Somashekhar had said on the eve of the elections.
BJP had emerged as the single largest party in the 2015 Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council by winning 100 seats. The Congress had come second with 75 seats while the JD(S) bagged 15 seats.
The Congress and the JD(S) had come together with a support of seven other independent corporators. Reaching an agreement over power sharing, Congress got the mayor’s post while deputy mayor’s post was given to the JD(S).
The term of the municipal council is of five years, but mayor and deputy mayor have a term of 11 months. The mayor and deputy mayors are elected by an Electoral College comprising corporators and also MLAs, MLCs, MPs, who are voters in the city.
Minister Zameer Ahmed and BJP MLA R Ashoka were present, while Union Ministers Ananth Kumar and Nirmala Sitharaman failed to turn up. (MR)