Advantage BJP in Bengaluru mayoral polls? Independents may play spoiler for Cong-JD(S)

BJP sources say that the party is trying to convince several Congress and JD(S) corporators, who are supporters of the disqualified rebel MLAs, to refrain from voting.
Advantage BJP in Bengaluru mayoral polls? Independents may play spoiler for Cong-JD(S)
Advantage BJP in Bengaluru mayoral polls? Independents may play spoiler for Cong-JD(S)
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Bengaluru mayoral elections are slated to occur in the third week of September and the BJP, which is currently in the opposition in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council, is confident of being able to elect its corporators as the Mayor and Deputy Mayor this time around. The tenure of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor is a year.

The BJP is the single largest party in the BBMP Council with 102 corporators. However, the party was pushed into the opposition after the Congress and JD(S) had forged an alliance in 2015. The coalition had also got the support of the seven independent corporators. With the Congress-JD(S) coalition’s collapse at the state-level, the alliance is now shaky in the BBMP Council as well, sources say.

For the last four years, Congress has been able to appoint a Mayor of its choice, thanks to the numbers the coalition enjoyed. As per the rules, any MLA, MLC or MP with a registered permanent address in Bengaluru is allowed to vote for the mayoral elections.  

The total strength of the Council is 262. However, with the disqualification of five MLAs from Bengaluru -- Byrathi Basavaraj (KR Puram), ST Somashekhar (Yeshwanthpura), Munirathna Naidu (RR Nagar) and Roshan Baig (Shivajinagar) from Congress and K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout) from the JD(S), the strength of the Council is reduced to 257. This means the simple majority is now 129.  

The BJP currently has 102 corporators, three Lok Sabha MPs, two Rajya Sabha MPs, 11 MLAs and 7 MLCs to vote for its candidate, taking its total number of votes to 125. The Congress has 100 votes, with 75 corporators, seven MLAs, 11 MLCs, and seven Rajya Sabha members. The JD(S) has 21 corporators and four MLAs eligible to vote. The Congress-JD(S) combine also have 125 votes. This makes the votes of the seven independents crucial.

Speaking to TNM, BJP’s Leader of Opposition in the BBMP Council, Padmanabha Reddy said that the party has convinced all seven independents to vote in its favour for the upcoming Mayoral elections.

BJP sources also told TNM that the party is in talks with corporators, who are loyal to the five disqualified MLAs. BJP sources say that these corporators from the Congress and JD(S) will be persuaded to abstain. “The Congress will take the independents to resorts. Even if the corporators are taken to resorts, we have to be sure that we have the numbers. So, we are in talks with some of Congress and JD(S) corporators, who are willing to refrain from voting even if their parties take them to resorts,” the BJP source added. 

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