BJP stands with loyal party worker

Upsetting the applecart within BJP, in a closed-door mid-night meeting to choose the party’s mayoral candidate, M Goutham Kumar emerged as the darkhorse.

BJP leaders from Bengaluru, meeting past mid-night on Monday, resolved to field Gowtham as the candidate pipping other strong contenders like opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy and Manjunath Raju.

Sources in the Bengaluru BJP revealed to DH that Goutham Kumar enjoyed the backing of Bengaluru Central parliamentarian PC Mohan, who reportedly proposed the name during the late-night meeting and tried to gain the support of others.

While the decision to pick Goutham left many in the saffron camp shocked, sources within the BJP revealed that keeping in mind several calculations, the leaders consciously decided to field loyal BJP worker.

Defecting to the BJP from the Janata Dal (Secular) a few years ago, current opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy had reportedly drawn flak from his party corporators and leaders. Refusing to give up the post of opposition leader in the city council for four consecutive years, Reddy was at the centre of bitter criticism.

Further, the state BJP, which is already witnessing an all-out war between the loyal party leaders and ‘migrant’ leaders, wanted to send across a strong message that party is first and chose to settle with a loyal party worker Goutham Kumar.

The mayoral polls and selection of mayoral candidate had bruised the egos of several leaders, especially those from Bengaluru. Several top leaders were seen openly lobbying for their corporators.

Soon after the polls, Goutham thanked all BJP leaders by shaking hands with them. However, on reaching Revenue Minister R Ashoka, who was sitting separately in the middle along with Yelahanka MLA SR Vishwanath, Goutham bowed at his feet and sought blessings. The sudden gesture, while surprising many, created a buzz in the political circles.

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