BENGALURU: Barely four days after the demise of deputy mayor Ramila Umashankar, the race to elect the city’s next deputy has already begun. Heavy lobbying by aspirants for the post has started in the Janata Dal (Secular), while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying its luck again.
The election is likely to be held in November along with the poll for Standing Committee members. The BBMP Commissioner has to write to the Regional Election Commissioner in this regard to start the process.
On Friday morning, 44-year-old Ramila Umashankar of JD(S) passed away, one week after she became deputy mayor. Soon after, a few aspirants in the JD(S) started lobbying for the post. This year, the post of the deputy mayor is reserved for a General category candidate, which also means that anyone can be made deputy.
According to sources from the JD(S), in 2017-18, Ramila had missed the chance as the party selected Padmavathi Narasimhamurthy. “As party leaders had assured Ramila of the post, it was given to her. Unfortunately, she passed away. We had 15 seats, of which four councillors have served as deputy mayors -- Hemalatha Gopaliah, M Anand, Padmavathi Narasimha Murthy and Ramila. We have fewer choices now, as it is a General category election, any councillor can become deputy mayor,’’ a source said.
While some leaders pitched for women councillors to take up the job, Mahalakshmi Layout MLA Gopalaiah said he is pitching for Nagapura ward councillor Bhadregowda who is part of his Assembly constituency. “I want someone from my Assembly constituency to become deputy mayor. There are four JD(S) councillors in my constituency,’’ he said.
Nethra Narayana from Kavalbairasandra ward is also in the race. During the Mayoral elections this year, two rebel JD(S) councillors Manjula Narayanaswamy from Laggere and K Devadas from BTM Layout had joined hands with the BJP after their party finalised Ramila’s name for the deputy mayor’s post. However, they stepped back at the last minute and voted for the Congress-JD(S) coalition. But the party top brass may not consider their names as they initially supported the BJP.
The BJP is planning to try its luck again. “Our party has not decided on anyone right now. We will decide later as there is time,’’ Padmanabha Reddy, opposition party leader in the BBMP Council told The New Indian Express.