Breaking his silence and setting aside his "resentment" against the Congress leadership, former minister Ramalinga Reddy surprised all on Tuesday with his swift political move.
With the publication of the notification for mayoral polls, Reddy returned to active politics after more than a month by holding a closed-door meeting with independent corporators of whose support is crucial for the Congress party to retain the mayor's post in 198-member BBMP.
Failing to secure a Cabinet berth in the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, Reddy kept a low profile amid the high-decibel political action. But the opposition BJP's silent efforts to bag the mayor's post with the help of independent corporators seem to have forced Reddy to come out of the break.
Reddy's sudden entry in the backdrop of mayoral polls set the tongues wagging in the political circles. With the mayor's post being reserved for a general category woman, Congress corporator from Jayanagar (East) Gangambika Mallikarjun has emerged as the leading contender. The ward falls in the Chickpet Assembly segment.
Sources in the Congress party also revealed that Gangambika is the wife of senior Congress leader Mallikarjun, a staunch supporter of Reddy's, indicating why Reddy became so active.
Giving jitters to the Congress, the BJP's Bengaluru in-charge R Ashoka held a closed-door meeting with independent corporators a few days ago. Alerted by the BJP's move, Reddy and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao held parleys with the independents.
A source privy to the meeting told DH: "All the independent corporators agreed that they had been approached by the BJP to support to its candidate." But Reddy and Dinesh convinced them that the Congress had stood by them in the past four years and requested their support yet again.
"All the corporators complained to Reddy and Dinesh that they had been neglected under the coalition government and that funds were not being released to their wards. The corporators were also upset that no meeting of the standing committee was held ever since the Bengaluru development minister was appointed," a source close to Reddy said. But Reddy reportedly convinced them their demands would be met at the governmental level soon.
Even though Mujahid Pasha, the SDPI corporator, did not attend the meeting for too long, other corporators stayed put until late afternoon and held hectic parleys with both Reddy and Dinesh.