Hectic lobbying has started in both parties — JD(S) and Congress — which are most likely to form a coalition in the Mysuru City Corporation. This follows the announcement of reservation for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor immediately after the declaration of results of the election held to the civic body. The election was held on August 31 and the results were declared on September 3.
The aspirants have started lobbying for the coveted posts in the city even before the leaders work out the coalition modalities. The aspirants have already approached their respective political godfathers and are pressurising them from various quarters. Thus, the understanding or misunderstanding on the allocation of the posts would form the main basis for the formation of the coalition.
The coalition is necessitated as no party has won a simple majority to form the council. While the BJP has emerged as the single largest party with 22 in the 65-member council. The BJP is closely followed by Congress with 19 seats and JD(S) 18. Since many years, no single party enjoyed simple majority in the council and coalition has become a norm in the MCC. During the last five-year term, the JD(S) had a truck with the BJP and enjoyed the privilege of having the mayor’s post. BJP played the second fiddle and was content with the deputy mayor’s post.
While the post of the Mayor has been reserved for general category woman, the Deputy Mayor’s post is reserved for Backward Classes A (BCM-A) category. Following the delimitation of wards and change in quota, providing more reservation for women, almost 50% of the Corporators are women. Out of 65 Corporators, 32 are women. Thus, this time, women power is expected to prevail over the Council and also over the affairs of the city.
As the reservation for the mayor’s post is also for woman, there are strong contenders in both the possible coalition partners. According to sources — in both the parties — the posts would be shared among them during alternate terms — five terms for five years. Usually the five-year term of the council sees only four mayors and four deputy mayors, due to various reasons, like delay in notification of reservation, delay in conducting of polls, etc. If at all, five mayors are elected, the mayor of the last term gets only a short term.
As the mayor’s post has been reserved for a woman for the first term, male corporators would not allow a woman from the BCM-A category to become deputy mayor.
The strong contenders in the Congress, for the Mayor’s post are: H M Shantha Kumari, Ward 32, Ghousia Nagar ‘A’ Block; Hajira Seema, Ward 34, Kalyangiri; Puttaningamma, Ward 54, Gundu Rao Nagar; B Bhuvaneshwari, Ward 60, Ashokapuram; and Shobha, Ward 61, Vidyaranyapuram.
In the JD(S), the aspirants for the Mayor’s post are: S Prema, Ward 2, Manchegowdanakoppalu; Reshma Banu, Ward 17, Bannimantap; Bhagya Madesh, Ward 19, Jayalakshmipuram; Tasneem, Ward 26, Meena Bazar; Ashwini Anathu, Ward 37, Raghavendra Nagar; and Savitha Suresh, Ward 44, Janata Nagar.
For the post of Deputy Mayor, the aspirants in the Congress are: Ayub Khan, Ward 13, Udayagiri; Arif Husain, Ward 16, Subash Nagar; and Syed Hazrath Ullah, Ward 29, NR Mohalla.
The aspirants for the post of Deputy Mayor in the JD(S) are: Sawood Khan, Ward 14, Sathya Nagar; Mohammed Rafique, Ward 27, Veeranagere; and Shafi Mohammed, Ward 31, Ghousia Nagar.
The Congress party leaders’ argument for obtaining the first term of the mayor is that the party does not have even a single minister from the region. They are also citing the formula in Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), where again, the Congress and JD(S) are coalition partners.
Among the aspirants for the mayor’s post in the JD(S), despite being first-time Corporator, S Prema (Prema Shankaregowda) is a senior party leader. Besides, Ashwini Ananthu and Tasneem are two-time corporators. Bhagya Madesh has a strong family background. In the Congress, except for Shanatha Kumari, all are first-timers. Shanatha Kumari was also deputy mayor once. Meanwhile, the BJP is waiting in the side-wing, hoping that the JD(S)-Congress coalition turns sour. It is still hopeful of continuing its partnership with the JD(S).