BANGALORE: Three-time councillor N Shanthakumari from Moodalapalya ward has been chosen as the 48th Mayor of Bangalore and K Ranganna of Kamakshipalya ward the 49th Deputy Mayor. Both were elected unanimously.
With this Kuruba (Shantha)-Vokkaliga (Ranganna) combination, BJP which is eying the BBMP election in 2015 hopes to woo the voters from these two communities who are large in number in Bangalore.
Solid waste management, upgradation of BBMP schools and hospitals, reducing traffic congestion, having parking at commercial areas, generating more revenue and making the City green are some of the new Mayor’s priorities. But for her Deputy, what tops the agenda is presenting an administrative report which has not been presented for the past many years.
Shantha, who is the sixth woman Mayor of Bangalore, served as Deputy Mayor (Congress) during 2004-05. Unlike most women councillors, Shantha won Moodalapalya ward which is reserved for General. She won in 1995 as an independent candidate, while in 2001, she won on a Congress ticket. She followed her mentor former Minister V Somanna who joined BJP from Congress in 2009 and won election in 2010 on a BJP ticket.
It may be recalled that there was intense lobbying for the Mayor’s post. BJP leaders were not able to reach a consensus on the candidate. H Ravindra, councillor from Shantha’s neighbouring ward, was the frontrunner till Thursday. But it was Somanna who fought for her candidature and made her Mayor, BJP sources said.
Addressing her maiden press meet as Mayor, Shantha said garbage disposal is her top priority. “Work has started on four biomethanisation projects. Once they start functioning, garbage problem will be mitigated. We have to stop sending waste to Mandur from December 1 at any cost. I appeal to the public not to use plastic, which is a major hurdle in disposing waste.
Shantha who was born and brought up in Bangalore said the city had a green cover during her childhood days. “Over a period of time, for various reasons, trees were axed. I want to bring back the glory. Citizens should plant two saplings for every tree cut or uprooted. I shall work on developing more parks in the city and bringing back the garden city tag,” she said. She also wants to upgrade BBMP schools and hospitals on par with the private sector.
Shanthakumari is married to Ravikumar, who runs real estate business. They have two children Bharath and Sharath who are studying in college.