With the mid-term polls to pick a new mayor for Mysuru scheduled to be held on Friday, Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress are set to come together again, despite having glaring differences that led to the disqualification of the former JD(S) mayor.
The mid-term polls were necessitated by the Karnataka High Court’s decision to disqualify Mayor Rukmini Madegowda as a member of the Mysore City Corporation, based on a petition filed by Rajani Annaiah, her Congress rival, that alleged false declaration of assets in the election affidavit.
The JD(S), however, has confirmed that it would not be adamant for mayorship this time. “We will ask for the mayor’s post. But, if they (Congress) want it for the remainder of the term, they can take it”, former minister SR Mahesh said adding that the post should be handed over to the JD(S) for the remaining two terms of the Corporation. Further, the JD(S) has also urged the Congress leadership to reach out to party leaders HD Devegowda or HD Kumaraswamy to finalise the deal.
At the same time, the local Congress camp is said to have agreed to the deal with the party issuing a whip to its 19 corporators to attend the mayoral election. “An appropriate decision will be communicated soon on who would be our candidate. We already have the deputy mayor from our party. The new mayor, with JD(S) support, will be in the chair for the remaining seven months of this term,” a Congress leader said.
Mysuru, as per the reservation in place for the post, will get a woman mayor from the general category, after the polls on Friday.
Meanwhile, another Congress leader said that the Mysuru City Congress Committee was keen to take inputs from the state leadership “to avoid any further miscommunications.”
Earlier, after the mayoral election held on February 24, JD(S) corporator Madegowda emerged victorious with the support of Congress, also sparking controversy within the Congress leadership. Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah had then taken exception to his party offering to cede mayorship to JD(S). Siddaramaiah had then termed the move by former minister Tanveer Sait a “unilateral decision.”
The former CM, who also hails from Mysuru, had approved his party tying up with JD(S) only on the condition that they got the mayor’s post. However, Sait’s decision to accept the deputy mayor’s post from JD(S), in a bid to keep the BJP out of power at the municipal body did not impress the state leadership.
The issue got worse after Sait’s aides in Mysuru shouted slogans against Siddaramaiah and former Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar in front of Sait’s residence after news spread that Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee had slapped a show cause notice to their leader. A total of eight of Sait’s aides were sought explanation on their “anti-party protest” then held in the backdrop of the mayoral polls in Mysuru last month.
The 65-member Mysore City Corporation has 22 BJP, one BSP, 17 JD (S), 19 Congress and five independent members that constitute the council.