As the BBMP Mayoral election is just around the corner, the Karnataka BJP, which formed its government in the state after unseating the Congress-JDS coalition, is now eyeing the Mayor of Bengaluru post.
This month, the one-year term of current mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun will end and the elections will be held for both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s post.
Though the BJP is the single largest party in the BBMP Council with 101 corporators, the Congress-JD(S) had bagged the Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s post respectively for the last five years. Last year, the Congress-JD(S) coalition was able to win the elections due to the support of seven independent corporators.
In the BBMP Council, besides corporators, MLAs, MLCs, and MPs of Loksabha and Rajya Sabha from Bengaluru have voting rights. Now, its an easy task for the BJP to win the elections since four MLAs from Congress and one MLA from JD(S) have been disqualified. The total strength of the council stands at 262, but with the five disqualified MLAs, the strength has fallen to 257.
To win the elections for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, a party or alliance needs 129 votes. Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Padmanabha Reddy, Leader of Opposition in the BBMP Council, said, “We hope that we will win this Mayoral election since we have the majority in the council. Last five years, they (Congress and JD(S)) were in power in the BBMP with an unholy alliance.”
According to sources in the BJP, the party is in touch with independent corporators to vote in its favour. In the last Mayoral elections, the BJP had boycotted the election accusing election officials of being biased towards the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular). BJP alleged that certain Congress MLCs and MPs were not eligible to vote in the elections but were still present for voting. BJP had also given a written petition on the issue to election officials, but it was dismissed.
Meanwhile, Congress said it is premature to discuss the Mayor elections now. Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Jayamahal corporator from Congress party M K Gunashekar said, “The disqualification of the five MLA’s will affect the coalition in the BBMP, and it also remains to be seen if the Independent MLA’s support us. But it is premature to discuss about Mayoral elections since the notification for the election has not been issued by the election commission. The developments will start only a week before the election. We will also talk to the independent corporators.”
The Bengaluru Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s tenure is for one year and the present term of BBMP will end in April-May 2020. The new Mayor and Deputy Mayor elected this time will only serve eight months in office.