The tussle for the mayoral candidature within the Bharatiya Janata Party appears to have narrowed down to two contenders, namely B.S. Satyanarayana (Katte Satyanarayana), who won from Basavangudi, and S.K. Nataraj, who won from Sarakki.
Party leaders met on Tuesday to thrash out the issue in the face of hectic lobbying by corporators. Transport Minister R. Ashok later told The Hindu only senior members who had served in the erstwhile BMP Council would be considered for the post.
While Mr. Satyanarayana is a fourth-term corporator, Mr. Nataraj has won for the third consecutive time. Both told The Hindu they have the support of senior leaders such as H.N. Ananth Kumar, K.S. Eshwarappa and R. Ashok, apart from city MLAs. Both claimed they withdrew their candidature during the 2008 Assembly elections on the assurance by leaders they would be suitably rewarded with a “prominent” post in the BBMP.
The Mayor's post is a coveted one as he/she is the supreme head of the palike. Although the BBMP Commissioner has executive powers, all projects have to be approved by the Mayor after discussion in the council. Unlike in Tamil Nadu, where the Mayor is directly elected for a five-year tenure, in Karnataka he/she is elected by the party corporators for a one-year term.
Mr. Ashok told The Hindu: “The Mayor's post will be reserved for “General” category and Deputy Mayor's for “SC” category in the first year as we are going by the 2008 gazette notification. All categories will be represented over the five-year term of the council. We will finalise the candidate after consulting all our MLAs and senior party leaders within two days of the council's formation. It will be a unanimous choice.”
According to City BJP president B.N. Vijyakumar, apart from the two names being bandied about, there are many aspirants such as D. Venkateshmurthy, P.N. Sadashiva, B.V. Ganesh, B. Somashekar, and C.K. Ramamurthy.