A bit of a demotion they do not mind

A bit of a demotion they do not mind

P R Ramesh, Narayan swamy and K Chandarshekhar

The former first citizens include K Chandrashekar from Hanumanthnagar, P R Ramesh from Visveshwarapura and R Narayanaswamy from Jalahalli. Usually, former mayors do not contest corporation elections as becoming a corporator again is a regression of career. But the Congress gambit has forced them to contest.

All three former mayors insist that they are contesting because the party wanted them to contest. They claim that they had never sought ticket. But their presence in the fray has not gone down well with the members of Youth Congress who have been vocal in expressing their disappointment and anger against the party senior leaders for not accommodating more youngsters.

Narayanswamy, who had earlier represented the HMT ward was mayor in 2004-05. He is proprietor of an English medium school, industrialist and land developer. Interestingly, his name did not appear in the list of candidates which was released to the media. The party sources said due to some reason his name has been left out. But he has filed the papers along with the B form.  “I never sought ticket. My seniors wanted me to contest because I performed well as Mayor. Otherwise, the party would not have entertained me again. I have every reason to rejoice. People of my constituency - Jalahalli - know me as a good worker. But I reside in Rajmahal Vilas extension,” he said. He claims that as mayor, he was instrumental in doing away with vehicle parking fee, launching a drive against illegal hoardings and incresed the revenue of the Palike by Rs 100 crore.

 K Chandrashekar, who was mayor in 2001-02, claims that the party has made it mandatory for the former mayors to contest. But former mayors Ramachandrappa, K H Simha and Mumtaz Begum are not in the fray.  “The party felt that in the council there should be senior leaders like me who can guide the new comers.  I have 23 years experience in politics. I have worked in all the standing committees of the corporation”, he says.

His views are echoed by P R Ramesh, who was a three-term corporator.  “The Palike’s financial condition is so pathetic that the government is borrowing to pay salary of the employees. The new council will have 275 members including the the nominated. The council should have experienced people. Hence the party is fielding me”, he said.
However, former mayor Ramachandrappa chose not to contest. Reason? “As ex-mayor I am getting the respect I should get. I am happy with it”, he says.

Former mayor Lakkanna has also filed as the Congress candidate from Kamakshipalaya. But he did not get B form. Lakkanna said, “My name was in the list. But I failed to understand why I have been denied ticket. I have not yet decided to withdraw the papers”.

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