Cong rebel is Mysuru mayor, party red-faced

Cong rebel is Mysuru mayor, party red-faced

The Congress faced embarrassment in Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's home district as the party's rebel candidate B Bhagyavathi was elected Mysuru mayor with the support of the JD(S), BJP and independent members amid high drama here on Wednesday.

Indira Mahesh of the JD(S) was elected deputy mayor unanimously as she was the only eligible candidate for the post, which was reserved for ST (woman).

With all the Congress voters, including corporators, MLAs and MLCs boycotting the poll, Bhagyavathi, corporator of Ward 25 under Chamaraja Assembly segment managed to secure 43 of the 74 votes.

The Congress members and independents, who supported them, walked out.

In the 65-member council, the Congress has 20 members, JD(S) 20, BJP 13, SDPI two, KJP and BSR Congress one each and eight are independents.

The lone KJP member B L Bhyrappa and independent corporator Ashwini Ananthu joined the JD(S), taking its strength to 22. In addition, four MLAs, one MP and four MLCs are also voters in the mayoral polls.

According to the special gazette notification issued by the Urban Development Secretariat on January 1, the mayor's post was reserved for Scheduled Caste woman and the deputy mayor's post for Scheduled Tribe woman.

According to the reservation, Bhagyavathi and Kamala Uday, both representing the Congress, were eligible for the mayor's post. The Congress had announced Kamala Uday as its official candidate.

The post of mayor and deputy mayor had fallen 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, 2017. They were elected on December 7, 2016.

Bhagyavathi, who arrived at the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) office along with JD(S) MLA G T Devegowda, filed the nomination.

Though the Congress leaders, including Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Tanveer Sait repeatedly appealed to Bhagyavathi to withdraw, she refused.

A verbal spat broke out between the JD(S) and Congress members, including Sait and Devegowda. Later, the Congress members walked out of the election venue. MLA Vasu of Chamaraja constituency was not present.

Recently, the JD(S)-BJP combine had wrested the post of the president from the Congress, by electing a Congress-rebel candidate in Hunsur Town Municipal Council. In almost all local bodies in the district, either the JD(S) or the JD(S)-BJP combine are in power.

In-charge regional commissioner Shivayogi Kalsad conducted the election. Additional deputy commissioner T Yogeesh was present.

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