BENGALURU:The draft ward reservation list for the BBMP council polls announced by the state government has come as an unpleasant surprise for some.
Former mayors S K Nataraj from Sarakki and Venkatesh Murthy from Kathriguppe, former deputy mayors S Harish of Nagapura and L Srinivas from Padmanabhanagar, BJP leader B R Nanjundappa from Rajarajeswari Nagar are among others who will not be able to contest the elections as their wards have been reserved for women as per the draft reservation list.
While the BJP leaders believe that the Congress government is doing this to end their political careers, Bengaluru in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the government was going by the rules that dictate an increase in the number of seats reserved for women to 50 per cent.
However, when it was pointed out that 97 wards are reserved for women in the draft list, Reddy said 99 wards will be reserved and changes will be made after objections are received.
Other prominent leaders like BJP leader Gangabyraiah from Dr Rajkumar ward and a few corporators like A H Basavaraju from Banashankari Temple, B V Ganesh from Chamarajpet, C K Ramamurthy from Pattabhiram Nagar and Somashekhar from Shakambari Nagar, Umesh Shetty from Nagarabhavi wards may also not be able to contest elections.
Former deputy mayor S Harish told Express, “This is a politically motivated list to stop the rising BJP wave in City. We will object to the list and, if needed, will take the matter up with court.”
Former mayor Venkatesh Murthy questioned the basis on which the list was made, saying this was done to scuttle BJP’s growth.
Hitting out at a few Congress MLAs for their alleged involvement in preparation of the list, B R Nanjundappa said, “There is no gazette so far that states reservation for women in the BBMP should be 50 per cent. If the government is so concerned, they should have done this with Congress corporators too.”
Gangabyraiah said giving way to new faces in these reserved areas may hamper the Palike’s growth. Basavaraju said the Congress was nervous as the BJP was growing beyond expectation. “Our first step will be to file an objection. If necessary we will seek the court’s intervention,” he said.
JD(S) corporator R Prakash from Kaveripuram said the state government was targetting future leaders and the ones who raise their voice to ensure transparency in the BBMP.
Reddy said the government was going by guidelines and has increased the seats for women in BBMP from 66 to 99. “Reservation in the General (women) category is 52 seats, for Backward Community- A (women)-26; ST-2; Backward Community-26; SC-13. If there are objections, we will welcome it and will announce the final list on April 13.”