Vani Sridhar pips party candidate by aligning with BJP, which also wins vice-president’s post
The Congress suffered an embarrassing defeat during the election held to the posts of president and vice-president of the Puttur Town Municipal Council on Wednesday, despite enjoying a majority.
Vani Sridhar, the rebel candidate from the Congress, was elected president with the support of the BJP and Jeevandhar Jain of the BJP was elected the vice-president. Puttur Tahsildar Kullegowda M. T. presided over the electoral process.
Under the reservation matrix, the post of president is reserved for general category while the vice-president’s post is reserved for Backward Class B. In the 27-seat council, Congress won 15 seats and the BJP 12 seats in the elections held on March 7.
However, the tally of the Congress came down to 14 following the death of Leela Mascarenhas of Parladkka-Tenkila ward in a road accident recently. With Shakuntala T Shetty eligible to vote in her capacity as Puttur MLA, the Congress could have easily won both the posts in the council.
On the other hand BJP’s vote was expected to touch 14 with D. V. Sadananda Gowda, MLC, and Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, enjoying voting rights. However, in a dramatic turn, all the 14 members of the BJP supported the rebel Congress candidate Ms. Sridhar, who managed to pip the party’s official candidate Mohammed Ali.
Ms. Sridhar voted for the BJP candidate during the election of the vice-president, tilting the scale in favour of Mr. Jain, who got 15 votes as against 14 votes polled by Rekha Yashodara of the Congress.
In Belthangady Town Panchayat, Mustar John Mehaboob (Backward Class A) and Nalini Vishwanath (general category) of the Congress were elected unopposed as the president and vice-president of the panchayat on Wednesday.
In the 11-member panchayat the Congress has nine seats while BJP has two seats.