Pressure is building as the Mayoral elections come closer

Should Congress and JDS respect popular mandate for BJP in BBMP Bengaluru speaks out
news Monday, September 07, 2015 - 16:56

August 24 could have been the last time BJP members in Bengaluru were happy about their performance.  BJP got 41 % of the votes out of the 32,50, 951 people who voted, winning 100 seats in the BBMP elections. However, the way things have unfolded for the majority party after the announcement of results of the BBMP elections has clearly not been in its favour. 

BJP, which has a simple majority, needs another 4 seats to have the absolute majority in the BBMP.

The Congress which won 76 seats has been pushing and forging an alliance with the JD(S) which won 14 seats to get elected to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor posts. The has accepted most of JD(S)’s demands including, giving them the Deputy Mayor’s post and keeping away from the plan to divide the BBMP.

Having come this close to getting the BBMP, the BJP has been feeling the pressure. The party has also been crying foul over the Congress and JDS's efforts to stage a coup-of-sorts.

However, The News Minute got mixed responses from a cross-section of people in the city.

Ram Krishna Reddy, a leader of AAP Karnataka things that politics is a one of a kind game. He said, “There is nothing right or wrong in this. The people of Karnataka are kind of used to it and they love it. The same thing happened during BJP government in the State level. In any case, this kind of behaviour is deplorable and shameful.”

Ashwin Mahesh, a journalist expressed his dissent in a Facebook post.

He said “it would be better for the Congress to drop the idea of forming the majority in the BBMP Council with JD(S) support. The opposition's electoral win among the 198 contested seats was fairly won, and it would be better to respect that. Also, the city is, in any case, only in a small way controlled by the BBMP, and the majority of public services are with the state government. To demonstrate its commitment to the city, therefore, the state government does not need to rule the council, especially if it is planning to introduce the Greater Bengaluru Regional Governance Bill later in the year. By its actions on transport, power supply, water, sewage, and so many other areas, the state govt can much more clearly show its intent to develop Bangalore. This is also much likelier to find public support in the long run, than trying to accommodate unethical demands in the short run.”

Neena Gopal, the editor of Deccan Chronicle, has a similar opinion that Bengaluru's interest should be given the highest priority. In her column she says, “…Come September 11, we’ll see how the chips finally fall. And whether Bengaluru gets the governance it truly deserves.”

Gautam John a lawyer told that the way BBMP Mayoral post is concerned it is less than ideal that while the BJP certainly got the popular mandate, Congress and JD(S) are in a way able to subvert to get their person elected as Mayor.

“At the end of the day it is all politics. It is very much like the ‘First past the post model’ which we have adopted. That is, in any election in India one party can get one percent more of the votes but all of the seats, which is not necessarily fair. So, since the model itself allows this, we can’t prove say what the Congress and the JD(S) are doing is not right. We can only stop with criticizing it for disrespecting the mandate of the people.” He added. 

Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar who announced his support for the BJP in BBMP polls feels "the current efforts of the Congress to take over the BBMP despite losing the elections is bad politics! It mocks the verdict of the BBMP elections a few weeks ago.

"The Congress has already played many games over the last many months to stall the elections, so that it could directly control Bengaluru - and now faced with a verdict of the people that has gone against it, is resorting to playing further political games to gain control of Bengaluru! This is political gaming at its worst.

What Bengaluru needs is good citizen centric governance and planning and not further looting and exploitation," He added

29-year old Roshan Sylvester said,"It doesn't really make a difference to Bengaluru because only 44% have voted and I wouldn't look at that as a proper representation.  At the end of the day people have absolutely have no idea even for what they voted, leave alone who; so the mayor or deputy coming from BJP will be as good coming from the congress of JDS."

"The very fact that BJP won quite well speaks a lot about the average Bengalurean who is after this 'ache din' that will come in samples just before a major election rally. When it comes to the parties, it is a number game in all respects. They have to get their returns as every party has spent a lot on every candidate.

This was an election that proved yet again that the ones who really need representation are left on the side lines. I hope dissent is treated well in the municipality, so we live in a more inclusive and tolerant Benguluru.” He added.