In the run up to the September 11 voting in the Bengaluru city council to elect a Mayor for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP), the ruling Congress in Karnataka has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of attempting to poach its councillors.
As a precautionary measure, senior Congress leaders on Friday announced a plan to move 76 of its councillors from Bengaluru to “a safe location” to prevent BJP efforts to win over their candidates in an election that is expected to be a close one on account of a hung verdict thrown up by the August 22 election to the city council.
Congress legislator from Bengaluru S T Somashekar alleged on Friday that the BJP had attempted to “buy” a woman councillor. “They offered money to our corporator to support them in the Mayoral election. She has recorded the conversation on her mobile phone and it will be released at a suitable time,” Somashekar added.
State Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, who is the minister in-charge for Bengaluru, said the BJP, who started the culture of horse trading to grab power in 2008 by investing money — generated through illegal mining in the Bellary region — to purchase Congress legislators, would stop at nothing to grab control of the BBMP.
“We have decided to shift our corporators from the city as a precautionary measure to prevent horse trading,” Reddy said. Three teams of Congress corporators will leave the city soon for a safe destination, he said.
Sources said 22 councillors, including Independents or members of Janata Dal Secular, have already checked into resorts in Kerala to prevent them from being poached. The councillors are set to return to Bengaluru in time for the Mayoral polls.