Mayor poll: Cong plays quota card to pip JD(S), BJP to the post, literally

Mayor poll: Cong plays quota card to pip JD(S), BJP to the post, literally

Power to the ruling Congress party, in most of the local self-governing bodies in the home district of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, has been elusive. However, playing the reservation card, the Congress is trying to wrest the last term of the mayor in the Mysuru City Corporation's council, which ends in September.

It has to be mentioned that in most of the Taluk Panchayats and also in the Zilla Panchayat in the district, the Congress is not in a comfortable position and the JD(S) and JD(S)-BJP combine are the ruling parties.

As per the special gazette notification, issued by the Urban Development Secretariat on January 1, the mayor's post is reserved for Scheduled Caste woman and the deputy mayor's post for Scheduled Tribe woman. While there are two eligible candidates for the mayor's post in the Congress - Kamala Uday and S Bhagyavathi - there are none in the present ruling coalition of the BJP-JD(S). There is only one ST woman in the JD(S) - Indira Mahesh, who represents ward 61.

Kamala Uday represents ward 50 under Narasimharaja Assembly constituency and Bhagyavathi represents Ward 23 under Chamaraja Assembly constituency. Now, their chance of election depends on the clout their respective MLAs Tanveer Sait and Vasu enjoy with the party high command.

The post of mayor and deputy mayor fell vacant since the end of the term of M J Ravi Kumar of the JD(S) and Rathna Lakshman of the BJP respectively, on December 6.

The JD(S) and the BJP have been sharing power in the MCC since the Council was elected, forcing the Congress to play the role of Opposition. In the 65-member MCC, the Congress had 20 members, JD(S) 20, BJP 13, SDPI two, KJP and BSR Congress one each and eight Independents. The lone KJP member B L Bhyrappa and Independent corporator Ashwini Ananthu have joined the JD(S), taking its strength to 22.

The BSR Congress member has joined the SDPI and all the three members support the Congress. So, the Congress has 23 votes. Besides, there are three MLAs (M K Somasekhar, Vasu and Tanveer Sait) and an MLC (R Dharmasena) from the Congress. Hence, the Congress has 27 votes in all. The JD(S) has an MLA (G T Devegowda) and three MLCs (Sandesh Nagaraj, K T Srikantegowda and Marithibbegowda), taking the JD(S) tally to 26. The BJP has an MP (Prathap Simha), so it is assured of 14 votes.

In the present council, the mayor's post had been reserved for the general category thrice and for 2-A category once.

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