The divisional bench of the Kalaburagi High Court has on Thursday stayed the single bench's verdict that the mayoral polls of Kalaburagi Mahanagara Palike should be conducted as per the old electoral list.
To secure power on its own, the BJP had included five 'outside' MLCs in the voters' list. The Congress had approached the High Court questioning the inclusion of the MLCs.
Hearing the case, Justice E S Indaresh-led single bench had ordered that the polls should be conducted with the old voters' list and old notification should be followed to elect the mayor and deputy mayor. The polls should be conducted within one month from the date of the court order, it directed.
The outside BJP MLCs had moved the divisional bench questioning the single bench judgment. The divisional bench comprising S R Krishnakumar and K S Hemalekha which heard the case on Thursday stayed the order of the single bench and deferred the hearing for March 14.
While advocate general Prabhuling Navadagi appeared for the government, advocate Gowrishankar Kashempur argued in favour of MLCs.
MLCs Lakshaman Savadi, Raghunath Rao Malkapure, Bharati Shetty, Talawar Sabanna, Lehar Singh, Pratap Simha Nayanl, Tulasi Munirajgowda had submitted their applications requesting to include their names in the voters' list as they are residents of Gulbarga South Assembly segment.
While the applications of Talawar Sabanna and Pratap Simha Nayak were rejected, the names of the remaining five MLCs were accepted. With this, the number of total voters for the mayoral polls had gone up to 68 from 63. The BJP was likely to come to power on its own.
In the 55-member body, Congress won 27 seats, while BJP managed to get 23 seats and one seat was captured by an independent who later threw his weight behind the BJP. JD(S) won four seats emerging as kingmaker.
As MLAs and MPs under the corporation limits can also vote to elect the mayor and deputy mayor, Gulbarga North Congress MLA Kaniz Fathima and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge are eligible to cast their votes. This takes the Congress tally to 29.
Along with the BJP corporators, Gulbarga South MLA Dattatraya Patil, Gulbarga Rural MLA Basavaraj Mattimud, MLCs B G Patil, Shashil Namoshi and Sunil Valyapure, and MP Umesh Jadhav will vote. The BJP's total number will go up to 30. As the JD(S) has four seats, the total numbers in the body will spike to 63. The magic number to install a mayor and deputy mayor will be 32.