Amidst speculation over the alliance in Mayoral election, the Congress and JD(S) have successfully entered into coalition to come to power in the BBMP. Third time Congress Corporator B N Manjunath Reddy from Madivala ward was elected as the Bengaluru Mayor and JDS’s first time corporator S P Hemalatha from Vrishabhavathi ward was elected as the Deputy Mayor, on Friday.
In the election that was conducted at BBMP Council hall amidst tight police security, Regional Commissioner M V Jayanthi declared Manjunath Reddy as the elected Mayor. Of the 260 councillors including elected corporators, MLAs, MLCs and MPs, 131 members voted for the Congress candidate Manjunath Reddy and S P Hemalatha for the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Of the total eligible voters, only one MP – Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Mallya was not present at the election venue to cast vote. Hence, the total number of voters was 260.
The 131 votes that the winning candidates won, comprised of 100 votes from Congress, 21 votes from JD(S) and 10 votes from independent corporators / MLCs and MPs. The BJP too fielded its Mayoral candidate Manjunath Raju from Kadu Malleswara ward who was able to garner only 128 votes.
The week long resort politics between the Congress and JD(S) has resulted in the coalition Council. BJP, despite winning majority seats (100 seats) in the BBMP election, had to succumb to the alliance struck by Congress and JD(S) with the support of independents.
Soon after oath taking programme, the BJP members attempted to raise their voice against the coalition. However, the Regional Commissioner continued the election process by declaring the names of candidates. The voters were asked to vote by raising their hands and signing the registry.
Perhaps, for the first time in the Council election, all the council members with voting power including Central and State ministers were present at the election. Speculations were rife regarding actress B Jayashree’s absense from the proceedings, but B Jayashree disappointed the speculators by being present in the council and voting for Congress candidates.
Election for 12 Standing Committees are being held and are expected to complete by late evening. It is believed that it has been decided to make seven independent candidates as chairpersons of standing committees, followed by three posts to Congress and two posts to JD(S).
In order to prevent any untoward incidents during the election, Section 144 was in force in 500 metres radius of the BBMP. Tight police security was in place. Entry inside the BBMP was prohibited to public and only those with official pass were allowed to enter.
Despite Section 144 in force, Karnataka Pradesha Congress Committee (KPCC) Lawyers tried to picket the BBMP condemning the BJP MPs, MLAs and MLCs of participating in the election, when the BJP has moved to the Court questioning the same provision.
Even after the completion of Mayor election, apprehension continues to exist over the fate of BBMP Mayor. Five BJP corporators have approached the High Court challenging the voting rights of MLAs, MLCs and MPs in the Mayoral election. The Single Bench judge which heard the matter on Wednesday, has adjourned the case to September 29th. Citizens too have filed PIL on the same issue in the High Court. Due to this, today’s election will be subjected to the outcome of the cases pending in the HC.
BJP leaders are pinning their hopes on the Court verdict. If at all the Court scraps the voting rights of MLAs, MLCs and MPs in Mayoral election, a fresh election has to be conducted. In such a case, BJP will come to power in the Council as it has majority elected corporators in the Council. Soon after the election, BJP leader R Ashoka has said that the party is ready to approach even the Supreme Court to get justice.
Also read: Who were eligible to vote in BBMP elections?
Questions about Mayor’s elections answered: FAQ on BBMP Mayoral elections
List of all corporators: Which party won which ward?