Mayoral polls: Cong woos independents

Dinesh Gundu Rao, State Congress president

State Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao and former minister Ramalinga Reddy held talks with independent BBMP corporators here on Saturday, ahead of the Bengaluru mayoral polls scheduled for September 28.

Five of the eight independent corporators in the BBMP council turned up for the meeting that was held in a private hotel, where Rao and Reddy sought their support to ensure the Congress retained the mayor's post, keeping the BJP from occupying it.

The meeting came in the backdrop of BJP leader R Ashoka also reaching out to the independents. The BJP is the single largest party in the 198-member council.

"The BJP is close to kidnapping the independent corporators," Rao told reporters. "The BJP is harassing them, seeking their support. The corporators have managed to escape without bowing to pressure. It looks like the BJP wants to do everything with money power," he added.

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who holds the Bengaluru City Development portfolio, was conspicuous in his absence from the meeting.

Independent corporators Elumalai V (Sagayapuram), Anand Kumar S (Hoysala Nagar), M Chandrappa Reddy (Konena Agrahara), Ramesh (Marathahalli) and Gayathri (Kempapura Agrahara) attended the meeting.

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Mayoral polls: Cong woos independents

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