Bengaluru Mayoral polls: BJP fields M Gowtham Kumar

BJP's Gowtham Kumar files nomination for Mayor's post

Upsetting the applecart within BJP, in a closed-door mid-night meeting to choose the party’s mayoral candidate, M Gowtham Kumar, second-time BJP corporator from the Jogupalya ward (Ward 89) in Central Bengaluru emerged as the darkhorse. BJP leaders from Bengaluru met past mid-night on Monday and decided to field Gowtham as the candidate, pipping other strong contenders like opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy and Manjuntha Raju.

Sources in the Bengaluru BJP revealed to DH that Gowtham Kumar, belonging to the minority Jain community, enjoyed the backing of Bengaluru Central parliamentarian PC Mohan who reportedly proposed the name during the late night meeting and tried gaining the confidence. While the decision has left many in the saffron camp shocked, sources within the BJP revealed that keeping in mind several calculations, the BJP leaders have consciously taken a decision to field loyal BJP worker.

Defecting to BJP, a few years ago from the Janata Dal (Secular), current opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy had reportedly drawn flak from his own party corporators and leaders. Refusing to give up the post of opposition leader in the City Council for four consecutive years, Reddy was at the centre of bitter criticism. Further, the state BJP, which is already witnessing an all out war between the loyal party leaders and ‘migrant’ leaders, wanted to send across a strong message that party is first and chose to settle with loyal party worker Gowtham Kumar.

Soon after deciding to field Gowtham Kumar, State BJP President Nalin Kumar Kateel held a meeting with three of the disqualified MLAs from Bengaluru seeking the support of corporators from their constituency. Further, a breakfast meeting has been convened at a private hotel by Kateel to appraise all the BJP corporators about the party’s decision and support Gowtham Kumar. 

In the meantime, Padmanabha Reddy has also filed his candidature for the Mayor's post. Reddy was flanked by Kathriguppe ward BJP corporator Sangati Venkatesh, former Mayor Katte Satyanaranayana and others, adding flavours to the toughly-fought post.  

Who is Gowtham Kumar?

A staunch BJP worker M Gowtham Kumar Jain is a second-time corporator from the Jogupalya ward in Shantinagar assembly constituency. Belonging to a minority Jain (Marwadi) community, which hailed from Siruguppa in Ballari district, Gowtham was born and brought up in Bengaluru and thus knows the pulse of the city. Even though Gowtham Kumar was seen in the team of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, he was seen rubbing shoulders with other camps of the Karnataka BJP as well.

 

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