BENGALURU: Both the current and the former Mayor of Bengaluru are contesting the assembly polls this time — continuing the trend from the last election. In the 2013 election too, the then Mayor Venkatesh Murthy and former Mayor Chandrashekar had contested the polls, while other Mayors over the years such as Shantakumari, S K Nataraja and B S Sathyanarayana have tried to get a ticket without success.
This time, Mayor Sampath Raj is contesting from CV Raman Nagar, while former Mayor G Padmavati will contest from Rajajinagar.
Sampath Raj's native constituency is Pulakeshinagar, in which lies the ward Devarajeevana Halli, for which he is the councillor. But as the Congress had to accommodate sitting MLA Akhanda, who moved from JD(S) to Congress,
Sampath Raj was given a ticket from CV Raman Nagar. However, Sampath Raj says even CV Raman Nagar is almost like a home constituency for him. Sampath Raj says he has worked there when it was part of Bhartinagar constituency, and is as good as a local candidate. "All seven Indira Canteens in CV Raman Nagar were inaugurated by me in the presence of the respective councillors," he said.
In addition, as a Mayor, Sampath Raj says his work across the city has been noticed and appreciated. In fact, he says when Congress chose him as the Mayor, they had specified that he will not be given a ticket to contest the assembly polls. But his work was appreciated and the ticket was given to him as a bonus, he added.
Venkatesh Murthy was Mayor for 17 months and then contested assembly election from Shantinagar constituency in 2013. He said Mayors are given tickets because they attain substantial popularity with the public during their tenure, which is propagated by the media. And he said the experience also helps them carry out their duties as an MLA.
Political analyst and faculty at the National Institute of Advanced Studies Narendar Pani says there has always been a well established tradition of corporators becoming MLAs, going back to Suresh Kumar and Somanna. "A lot of corporators see it as the next step, a natural progression, which is why they spend so much on corporation elections. The argument is that councillors will have some influence in their own constituencies, and if they feel that at least 3-4 other councillors will support them, then they will take a chance."
Professor Pani expressed surprise at Mayor Sampath Raj contesting from the CV Raman constituency, which is not his native constituency. He said CV Raman Nagar anyway needed a new Congress candidate, but Raj needs to have support from other councillors to win.
ex-councillors who missed the bus
N R Ramesh: Former councillor Ramesh was hoping to contest from the Chickpet constituency, but Congress instead opted for Uday Garudachar. Ramesh
was vocal in expressing
B S Satyanarayana: Former Mayor Satyanarayana had sought a BJP ticket from the Basavanagudi constituency,
but the BJP preferred sitting
MLA Ravi Subramanya
Other councillors who
got tickets to
V Somanna: He was elected
as a Congress MLA in 2008,
then resigned and moved to
BJP, but lost to Priya Krishna in
a bypoll in 2009. He was
then elected as an MLC
N L Narendra Babu: Three-time councillor and two-time MLA, Babu moved from Congress to BJP in October, 2017, and will contest from Mahalakshmi Layout
H Ravindra: The former
councillor from Govindrajnagar
will contest from Vijayanagar
B A Basavaraja: The former councillor contested and won from KR Puram in 2013, and will contest from the same constituency again
Padmanabha Reddy: The current councillor of Kacharakanahalli ward and leader of opposition in BBMP had contested on a JD(S) ticket from Sarvagnanagar but had lost to K J George. He will try to contest from the same constituency this time too
G H Ramachandra: The former councillor from Rajarajeshwari Nagar was with the BJP until 2015, and will now contest on a
JD(S) ticket from Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency
Ramalinga Reddy: Was the Councillor from BTM Layout before he became Transport Minister
and then Home Minister
Munirathna: Was councillor of Yeshwanthpur ward before being elected MLA of Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency