Updated: August 30, 2021 8:04:31 am
In a surprise development, BJP corporator Sunanda Palanetra was elected as the new mayor of the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), making it the first time for the saffron party to bag the mayor’s post since the formation of the corporation in 1862.
In the 65-member MCC, Palanetra secured 26 votes while Congress candidate Shanthakumari managed 22 and Ashwini Ananthu of the JDS got 23 votes. BJP is the single-largest party in the Mysuru City Council with 23 corporators while the Congress has 19 councillors and JDS 17. There are five Independents and one member from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
Although the BJP is the single largest party in the council it had earlier failed to install a mayor from the party on account of Congress joining hands with JDS to stake a claim to the post of mayor and deputy mayor.
The mayor’s post was vacant after a JDS candidate, who was supported by Congress, was disqualified by the High Court on the grounds that she had submitted a false asset affidavit.
On Wednesday, there was uncertainty whether the Congress-JDS alliance would continue over differences among leaders on an alliance. Until the last minute, there was speculation over whether the alliance still existed.
According to BJP sources, some party leaders approached S R Mahesh, a JDS leader, former minister and MLA on Wednesday seeking support for the BJP candidate. This reportedly tilted the odds in favour of BJP and Palanetra, who had missed the mayor’s post in the last election, after a BJP-JDS tie-up failed to materialise, was elected as the new mayor.
However, BJP minister in-charge of the Mysuru district S T Somashekhar denied reports of a tacit understanding between BJP and JDS in the mayoral polls. In February this year, the election for the mayor’s post had caused a controversy in Congress after a faction insisted on staying neutral while the other chose to join hands with JDS to grab the post.
In the alliance deal, JDS councillor Rukmini Made Gowda was elected the mayor of Mysuru and Anwar Baig of Congress became the deputy mayor. The mayor’s election was, however, set aside by an order of the Karnataka High Court.
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