BENGALURU: As the race for the mayoral post hots up, the Big three---the Congress, the BJP and the JD(S)---are going all out to grab the throne. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already done its calculations and its leaders have their fingers crossed for the JD(S)-Congress alliance to break. The recent demands of JD(S) to back Congress have raised BJP’s hope of walking away with the post of the first citizen. The deletion of names of three Congress MLC voters following its complaint will also work in its favour.The Regional Commissioner has announced the polls for Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Standing Committee members on September 28. This year, the Mayor post has been reserved for an SC candidate while a General (woman) will be the Deputy.
While Congress hopes to retain the Mayor post, JD(S), which has been the king maker, wants to be the king this time. JD(S), which had supported Congress in the mayoral election in the last two years, is hoping to drive a hard bargain before taking a call on their third year of alliance. BJP stands to gain from the waning political bonhomie between the other two.In 2015 election, BJP had won 101 seats, including support from one independent candidate. Congress won 76 and JD(S) got 14, while six independents are supporting the existing Congress-JD(S) alliance. Though BJP has simple majority in the Council, MLAs, MLCs and MPs too have voting power in Mayoral polls. In that regard, Congress and JD(S) coalition has more numbers than BJP.
There are 266 voters for Mayoral election. According to BJP leaders, they have 126 votes. “Out of total 266 voters, we need to get 134 to win majority. Since we already have 126, we need to get eight more votes. We will seek JD(S) or independent councillors’ support or else we know how to attract Congress voters,’’ a senior BJP leader told Express on the condition of anonymity. Opposition party leader in BBMP Council Padmanabha Reddy from BJP said they are confident of winning in the mayoral election.“We got simple majority due to people’s mandate. Congress is misusing power to kill democracy. They are making Congress MLCs from different places residents of Bengaluru by changing their addresses, just for the mayoral election,’’ he said.
Reddy said their party members had complained about ‘’mobile voters’’ before D H Shankarmurthy, Chairman of the Legislative Council.“Of the eight members, three got their names deleted from Bengaluru. Allamma Veerabhadrappa from Ballari cast his vote last September in Bengaluru. Later, he voted in the Ballari mayoral election in April. Is that fair,’’ he asked.“Another five such MLCs are there. We will file a complaint to get their names deleted. If that does not work, we will move the court,’’ he added. “We are the single largest party in the BBMP and the Mayor post should be given to us.’’If JD(S) decides to support Congress again, the alliance will have 141 votes against the BJP’s 125. However, if JD(S) remains adamant on its Mayor post demand and is denied the same, Congress can then muster only 116 votes.
BJP’s MAIN ASPIRANTS
Muniswamy of Kadugodi ward
V Shantha from Singasandra ward
Munilakshmamma of Kammanahalli ward
Tejaswini from Jnana
If Congress is able to convince JD(S), Mayor will be from Congress. Deputy Mayor’s post may go to JD(S).
If Congress succumbs to pressure from JD(S), Mayor will be from JD(S). Congress will have to remain content with the post of Deputy Mayor.
If JD(S) withdraws support or stays away from voting, BJP may grab both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor posts.