Shanthakumari is Mayor, Ranganna her deputy

Somanna loyalist pips Nanjundappa, Ravindra to post

Shanthakumari is Mayor, Ranganna her deputy

Moodalapalya corporator N Shanthakumari and Kamakshipalya corporator K Ranganna, both from the BJP, were elected unopposed as Bangalore’s mayor and deputy mayor respectively on Friday. The BJP enjoys absolute majority in the BBMP Council.

Senior BJP leaders who were at loggerheads over selecting the candidate for the mayor’s post finally decided on 43-year-old Shanthakumari, though she is being probed by the Lokayukta for owning disproportionate assets.

The election of Shanthakumari was indeed a personal victory for her mentor and former minister V Somanna, who had been strongly lobbying to see her as the first citizen of the Garden City. A section of senior BJP leaders was in favour of having a corporator from the dominant Vokkaliga community as the Mayor ahead of the BBMP elections likely to take place next year.

The BJP’s Vokkaliga face and former deputy chief minister R Ashoka had thus been pitching for JP Park corporator B R Nanjundappa or Vijayanagar corporator H Ravindra, who belong to that community. However, Somanna was adamant that his staunch loyalist Shanthakumari, a third-time corporator who belongs to the backward Kuruba community, should be made the mayor.

Nanjundappa’s name was doing the rounds for the top post till Thursday afternoon. However, it turned into a straight fight between Ravindra and Shanthakumari towards the end. It was only after Union Minister for Chemical and Fertiliser Ananth Kumar’s intervention that all the leaders agreed to back Shanthakumari.

The Vokkaliga lobby agreed to have Ranganna from their community as Deputy Mayor. In the bargain, Vignananagar ward corporator Geetha Vivekananda Reddy who was all set to be the Deputy Mayor lost to Ranganna.

The official election process at the BBMP Council meeting started at 1.20 pm with Regional Commissioner Gaurav Gupta inviting candidates to file their nomination papers. Shanthakumari filed the nomination papers and former mayor S K Nataraj and the incumbent B S Satyanarayana proposed her name

 As there were no other candidates, she was elected unopposed as the 48th Mayor of Bangalore. Similarly, Ranganna was elected Deputy Mayor unopposed.

Shanthakumari had served as deputy mayor for 2004-05. She was member of various standing committees of the civic body in the past. The 63-year-old Ranganna too is a third-time corporator and an agriculturist by profession.

Transparency

Later speaking to reporters, a buoyant Shanthakumari thanked her party for exuding faith in her by giving her a ‘major responsibility’. She said improving waste management and scientific disposal of garbage will be her priorities.

“Already four bio-methanisation plants have been set up, but they have to be increased to 19. My emphasis will be on segregation of waste at source. In my Moodalapalya ward, segregation of waste has reduced the quantity of garbage going to the landfill site. We want to replicate it in other wards as well,” said Shanthakumari.

Besides garbage, transparency and discipline in administration will be her priority. She emphasised on development works, especially parks, playgrounds, BBMP schools and colleges and hospitals. She said traffic and lake development are also areas of her interest.

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