Soon after the elections to the 224 Assembly constituencies was announced in New Delhi by the Election Commission of India, vehicles sanctioned to 17 elected representatives in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), including Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy, Deputy Mayor L. Srinivas and others, were withdrawn.
According to sources in the BBMP, the vehicles were withdrawn as the code of conduct had come into effect with the announcement of the calendar of events. “This withdrawal of vehicles is not specific to the BBMP. The vehicles sanctioned to any elected representative by the government and government agencies will be withdrawn immediately. This is just routine procedure,” the source said.
The source said that the BBMP’s Additional Commissioner in-charge of elections issued orders to withdraw 17 vehicles sanctioned to Mayor Murthy, Mr. Srinivas, Ruling Party Leader N. Nagaraju, Opposition Leader M.K. Gunashekar, Janata Dal (S) Floor Leader Thimme Gowda and the chairpersons of the 12 standing committees.
Most of the vehicles, which are under the control of the BBMP’s Council Secretary, have been parked in the basement at the head office, while some have been parked at the BBMP’s city shed, near city market.
The source said these vehicles will be sanctioned to the observers, if required, for election duty.
While most elected representatives readily surrendered their vehicles, it is said that the Mayor was a little reluctant. Sources said he was contemplating writing to the election officials urging them to allow him to use his vehicle to only travel from his house to the BBMP office. However, the District Election Officer was not in a mood to oblige him, sources added.
When contacted, the Mayor’s office refused to confirm if Mr. Murthy has indeed written to the election officials in this regard.