Ahead of elections, Congress downplays plan to split Palike

Ahead of elections, Congress downplays plan to split Palike

Ahead of elections, Congress downplays plan to split Palike

The ruling Congress, which was till recently strongly defending its move to create two or more smaller corporations in place of the BBMP, appears to have chosen to downplay the plan in view of the coming BBMP polls.

Leaders of the State Congress are avoiding any mention of the controversial proposal following its aborted attempts to implement it. Initially, the Governor refused to promulgate an ordinance in this regard, the bill later got stuck in the Legislative Council and the Supreme Court finally rejected the petition seeking postponement of polls. Repeated setbacks have left the Congress leaders embarrassed. The government wanted to postpone the polls citing creation of new corporations.

With the State Election Commission (SEC) announcing the elections, neither the party nor the government is ready to talk about the proposal. It is unlikely that the party will make it the main issue in the polls. For, defending the division proposal would imply that there will be another election within a few months (to the newly formed corporations). However, the leaders, off the record, say that both the party and government are committed to creating smaller corporations, as promised in its 2013 Assembly election manifesto.

Ball in CM’s court

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, who is also Bengaluru in-charge minister, on Saturday said the government will take an appropriate decision on splitting the Palike after receiving the B S Patil committee report. The panel is likely to submit its final report on June 30, he added.

When questioned whether splitting the Palike would be the poll agenda of Congress, the minister said:“I am not competent to answer this question. I am Bengaluru in-charge Minister. Bengaluru development directly comes under the chief minister and only he will be able to reply.”

However, he defended the decision to dissolve the BBMP council before its tenure, saying that it was done in the interest of the City. Administration in the BBMP had completely collapsed due to the misrule of the BJP. He said the only contribution of the BJP in the last five years is Rs 9,000 crore loan burden on BBMP. Many landmark buildings like Mayo Hall and KR Market were mortgaged to raise money. The BBMP under the BJP had even failed to deposit money towards its employees' provident fund, he charged.

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