Siddaiah may return as BBMP commissioner

Ruling BJP fears garbage menace may scuttle its chances in Assembly polls

Siddaiah may return as BBMP commissioner

Fearing a backlash from the electorate due to the mounting garbage problem, the BJP government in the State is mulling over bringing back senior IAS officer Siddaiah as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner, a year after unseating him unceremoniously.

The alleged inability of the present dispensation to handle the garbage problem has made the government ponder over changing the Commissioner in the BBMP.

There has been talk about bringing a new commissioner in the BBMP for quite some time. The name of I S N Prasad, Principal Secretary in the Department of Information Technology and Science was doing the rounds for the top post.

It now appears that the government has zeroed in on Siddaiah, who is presently serving as the Principal Secretary in the Higher Education Department.

Highly placed sources in the government told Deccan Herald that recently Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka and Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy had a discussion with Siddaiah, asking him to accept the proposal and bring some order in the BBMP and bail out the City from the severe garbage crisis, which has brought it a bad name across the globe.

Approaching retirement

Sources claimed that Siddaiah initially refused to accept the proposal saying that only seven months are left for him to retire.

Later, at the insistence of Ashoka, he agreed to accept the proposal, sources added.

It was during Siddaiah's tenure as the BBMP Commissioner a year ago that the fake bills scam surfaced, leading to a strong protest by the City MLAs, particularly the Rajarajeshwari Nagar MLA M Srinivas, Gandhi Nagar MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao and Malleswaram MLA Ashwath Narayana. He was subsequently removed from the BBMP and M K Shankarlinge Gowda replaced him. A few months ago, Rajneesh Goel was made the Palike Commissioner.

The government is struggling to overcome the garbage problem, which it fears can eclipse the election prospects of the ruling BJP in general and City MLAs in particular.

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