Mayoral poll: JD(S) keeps Cong, BJP on tenterhooks

Mayoral poll: JD(S) keeps Cong, BJP on tenterhooks

The two national parties lack the numbers to sail through

Mayoral poll: JD(S) keeps Cong, BJP on tenterhooks

The BJP is hoping to hold the reins of power in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) by winning the mayoral election scheduled for September 19.

Though the BJP has the highest number of corporators in the Palike council, the party lost the mayoral election last year due to an alliance between the Congress and the JD(S).

The joint strength of the two parties in the electoral college led to the defeat of the BJP and the victory of Madivala corporator B N Manjunath Reddy (Congress) as the mayor.

Ahead of the election, senior BJP leader and Padmanabhanagar MLA R Ashoka is in talks with the JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy for an alliance between the two parties, say BJP insiders. When contacted, Ashoka refused to comment.

‘JD(S) might align’
Leader of the Opposition in BBMP Council Padmanabha Reddy said that in any case the BJP will have its Mayor. “We are going to get the support of the JD(S) this time. They are most likely to align with us,” claimed Reddy.

Another BJP corporator, who did not wish to be named, said the JD(S) may directly support the BJP in the election or abstain from voting on September 19. However, a section in the BJP, is opposed to having its Mayor. Their fear is that the garbage problem could be ‘created’ again in the city to dent the BJP's image.

“Garbage problem has not been completely solved. Besides, demolition drive is going on in the city. All this will affect our party's image if we are at the helm of affairs at the BBMP, ahead of the State Assembly elections scheduled to take place in another 18 months. Better we opt out of the mayoral poll,” said a senior BJP MLA.

JD(S) meeting
The JD(S) which will have 23 members in the electoral college will decide which party will bag the mayor’s post. The JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda will hold a meeting on September 3 to take a final call.

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy and Mayor Manjunath Reddy had called on Gowda four days ago, requesting him to ensure that the alliance continues.

When contacted, Ramalinga Reddy said the Congress will decide its future course of action based on the outcome of the JD(S) meeting on September 3. He said that he also had a meeting with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the mayoral election.

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