Congress-JD (S) snatch Bengaluru from the BJP

Congress-JD (S) snatch Bengaluru from the BJP
Congress-JD (S) snatch Bengaluru from the BJP
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After much anticipation and maneuvering, the Congress snatched Bengaluru with its candidate BN Manjunatha Reddy being elected Mayor, even though the saffron party had emerged as the single largest party with 100 councillors.

BN Manjunatha Reddy was elected with 131 votes, the exact number required to elect a candidate to the post. The Deputy Mayor is yet to be selected. Votes were cast by a show of hands. Regional Commissioner MV Jayanti directed voters to cast their vote first for Manjunatha Reddy, who is a three-time councilor from Madiwala ward.

In the BBMP elections the BJP won 100 seats, the Congress 76, the JD (S) 14, and independents 7.

After the elections, the state’s infamous “resort politics” was in full display.  All three political parties and packed off their corporators as well as some independents to resorts in Karnataka and Kerala to avoid poaching.

Then followed hectic meetings in which the BJP stood a real chance that the Congress and JD (S) would align to keep the BJP out of power.

Much was at stake for the Congress, which despite being in power at the centre, did not win the local body elections, prompting BJP leaders to point out that for the first time in 20 years, a party which was in the Opposition in the state had emerged as the single-largest party in the BBMP elections.

However, the BJP elections were not just about face-saving for the Congress. Part of the hectic lobbying for votes involved trading the vote for demands to the post of chairperson or member of a standing committee.

There are a total of 260 votes in the BBMP Council, which is made up of not just the ward corporators, but also MLAs and Lok Sabha MPs of the city and some MLCs and Rajya Sabha members as well. In order to be elected Mayor, a candidate needs 131 votes.

This is the break- up of votes:

  Congress BJP JD (S)
Corporators 76 101 14
MLAs 13 12 3
MLCs 8 10 3
Lok Sabha MPs 2 3 -
Rajya Sabha MPs 4 2 1
Total 103 128 21

The newly elected corporators were be administered the oath of office by Regional Commissioner M V Jayanti. For the first time, half of the BBMP council will be made up of women, on account of 50 percent reservations.

By Friday, most of the bargaining had been done. City in-charge minister who held a meeting on Thursday reportedly decided that the seven independent corporates would be made chairpersons of standing committees. There are a total of 12 standing committees.

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