A day before the mayoral election, there was no clear picture on who would be the city's First Citizen even though speculations were rife about the eligible candidates.

On Wednesday evening, there was talk that the next Mayor and Deputy Mayor would be Katriguppe councillor D. Venkatesh Murthy and Padmanabhanagar councillor L. Srinivas respectively.

Bharatiya Janata Party sources said a formal announcement would be made after a breakfast meeting on Thursday before the election. The BJP, which is the ruling party in the BBMP Council, remained tight-lipped.

The BJP's Core Committee members, including Home Minister R. Ashok, met on Wednesday evening. With an eye on next year's Assembly polls, the party has decided to name a candidate belonging to the Kuruba community as Mayor and one from the Vokkaliga community as Deputy Mayor. While a section favoured Shakambari Nagar councillor B. Somashekar as Mayor, another wanted Mr. Venkatesh Murthy. Both belong to the Kuruba community.

Sources said State BJP president K.S. Eshwarappa backed Mr. Murthy. However, with several allegations of land grabbing levelled against him, sources said the party may finally choose Mr. Somashekar. The Deputy Mayor's post is likely to go to Mr. Srinivas. A small section wanted a councillor from Bangalore North as Deputy Mayor and favoured Ashwath Narayan Gowda from Kodigehalli ward.

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