In the elections to decide corporators in the 65 wards under the Mysuru City Corporation, 22 BJP, 19 Congress, 18 JD(S), 1 BSP and five independent candidates had been elected on September 3.
The JD(S) in Mysuru has moved its corporators to a resort, ahead of the mayoral elections on Saturday. The reason? While the party is in an alliance with the Congress in the state – and even in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) – in Mysuru, JD(S) cadre are not too keen on tying up with their traditional rivals. In fact, the party has allied with the BJP for the city corporation since 2013. And considering the Mysuru City Corporation elections held on September 3 ended in a hung verdict, the party is keen on keeping its flock together, and its options open.
The party’s 18 corporators, led by city president KT Chaluve Gowda, are currently in the Eagleton Resort in Bidadi in Ramanagara district. Each of their votes will count when it comes to deciding who will be elected the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor; in the elections to decide corporators in the 65 wards under the Mysuru City Corporation, 22 BJP, 19 Congress, 18 JD(S), one BSP and five independent candidates had been elected on September 3.
The JD(S) in Mysuru is insistent on electing its own corporator as the mayor this year. JD(S) leaders are maintaining that they are open to the idea of alternating the post with the Congress for the next five years. Sa Ra Mahesh, JD(S) leader and Mysuru district minister in-charge, said, "We want to elect our own candidate as the Mayor and then alternate with the Congress' preferred choice. We are also open to holding the post for two years and then allowing Congress to hold it for three years."
Mahesh is set to attend a meeting with Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in Mangaluru on Friday evening to decide on the JD(S) stance, and also pick the preferred mayor candidate. He confirmed that he has set up a meeting with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Dinesh Gundu Rao to discuss the matter.
"We will be discussing the issue of who we will elect as Mysuru (city corporation) mayor. It will be clear following our meeting who we will be supporting,” Mahesh added.
However, he also added that the party is open to the idea of joining forces with the BJP, and said, "Ït is true that I have held discussions with BJP corporators as well."
Since 2013, the JD(S) has managed to elect its candidate as the mayor of the city in a power-sharing arrangement with the BJP. However, with the party allied with the Congress in Bengaluru and in the state, it appears that the equations between the two parties in the Mysuru mayoral elections will change this year. The term of the mayor and deputy mayor is one year.
The post of the mayor has been reserved for a woman (general category) and that of the deputy mayor for Backward Class (A) candidate. There are seven Congress candidates, 11 JD(S) candidates, and 10 BJP candidates eligible for the post of mayor. The jury is out on which way the JD(S) will swing – and how the Mysuru Corporation polls affect the larger politics in the state of Karnataka.
JD(S) sources say that Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy would take a call on the agreement with coalition partner by the end of Friday. AT the time of writing the story, no announcement was made.