Mayoral polls: JD(S)-Cong coalition likely to continue

Mayoral polls: JD(S)-Cong coalition likely to continue

The main building of the Mysuru City Corporation in Mysuru. (DHNS Photo)

The JD(S)-Congress coalition, which fell out after H D Kumaraswamy resigned as chief minister in July 2019, is likely to continue in Mysuru City Corporation (MCC).

The election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, for the second term of the present MCC Council, is scheduled to be held on January 18. As per the agreement between the JD(S) and Congress, the first and third terms of Mayorship is reserved for Congress and the second, fourth and fifth terms for the JD(S). Thus, a JD(S) corporator can be Mayor, while the Congress may get Deputy Mayor’s post.

The term of the present Mayor Pushpalatha Jagannath and Deputy Mayor Shafi Ahmed came to an end on November 16 itself. The election was delayed due to various reasons, including the bypoll held in Hunsur Assembly segment on December 5, 2019.

The State Urban Development department announced the reservation for the posts of Mayor — BCA (Woman) — and Deputy Mayor — Scheduled Castes — on December 26, 2019. No party has an absolute majority in the MCC. Out of 65 corporators, BJP has 22, Congress has 19 and JD(S) has 18 members. There are five Independents and one BSP corporator.

JD(S) aspirants

Nirmala Harish, Reshma Bhanu, Tasneem and Namratha Ramesh of the JD(S) qualify for the Mayor’s post as per the reservation. All four candidates are lobbying for the coveted post and are in touch with influential leaders of the JD(S). However, it is learnt that KR Nagar MLA Sa Ra Mahesh, who is also a close confidant of former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, has the final say in this regard. Thus, sources said that Namratha Ramesh, who is more influential among the aspirants has an edge over others.

Similarly, for the post of Deputy Mayor, Sridhar, Sathyaraj and Pradeep Chandra are eligible in the Congress. They are also lobbying for the post with Congress leaders, including Badami MLA Siddaramaiah.

JD(S) city president KT Cheluvegowda said, “Congress and JD(S) will continue the pact. The final decision will be taken after holding a meeting of corporators.” Congress city president R Murthy also claimed that the party is ready to continue the alliance with the JD(S).

Even the BJP has plans to form truck with the JD(S) if given an opportunity. It has to be recalled that the JD(S) had been the BJP’s natural partner in Mysuru region for nearly two decades, prior to the formation of the JD(S)-Congress coalition.

It was due to the insistence of Siddaramaiah that the JD(S)-Congress coalition was extended to the local bodies in Mysuru. Otherwise, local JD(S) leaders were comfortable with the BJP leaders, who were used to playing second fiddle.

However, BJP corporator B V Manjunath said, “We are ready to form an alliance with the JD(S), if we get Mayor’s post. If not, we will continue as the Opposition party in the MCC Council.”

It has to be recalled that the JD(S)-Congress coalition continued in the election of President and Vice President of Mysuru Zilla Panchayat on February 23, 2019. BC Parimala Shyam of JD(S) and M V Gowramma Somasekhar of Congress were elected as president and vice president of the ZP respectively.

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