Congress gears up for BBMP polls
Eyes corporators from rival BJP camp; Minister says they must work for inclusive growth
BENGALURU: It appears that the Congress, after its massive victory in the Karnataka assembly elections, is gearing up for BBMP polls. The party’s top leaders, including Transport Minister R Ramalinga Reddy, are helping KPCC President DK Shivakumar rope in close confidants of BJP MLAs and former BBMP corporators.
On Sunday, three former corporators -- Mohan Kumar, Srinivas and Velu Nayakar -- quit the saffron party and joined the Congress. The party is focusing on KR Puram, Yeshwanthpur and Mahalakshmi Layout, not just to boost its tally but also to send a strong message to lawmakers who had destabilised the JDS-Congress government and insulted DK Shivakumar when he had gone to Mumbai to bring them back in 2019.
Reddy confirmed that talks are being held with former BBMP corporators. “Some sitting BJP corporators have expressed their desire to join the Congress. We have told them that if they come to the party without any conditions, and abide by the Congress’ principle of no hatred and work towards inclusive growth, they will be accommodated,” said Reddy.
DK Mohan from KR Puram assembly segment said he had held talks with a few leaders. “The list includes some sitting corporators and a few former CMC members associated with BJP. A clear picture will emerge in a week’s time,” he said.
On Sunday, former corporators Velu Nayakar from Lakshmdevi Nagar ward, Srinivas from Jalahalli and Mohan Kumar from Kottigepalaya joined the Congress. “We were with the Congress and joined the BJP after our MLA moved. This move has not gone down well with our party workers as they are finding it tough to face voters, so we are returning to Congress. Ex-corporator Asha Suresh from HMT Ward will join the Congress,” said Nayakar.
A leader, on condition of anonymity, said the Congress move is not restricted to the BJP. The strategy of roping in close aides of rival MLAs is to weaken them during the Lok Sabha polls. “Ex-corporators and leaders are the ones connected with voters, and by bringing them into the Congress fold, the party is gearing up for Lok Sabha elections,” said the leader.