Both say they will focus on improving areas newly added to the BBMP
The city's 46th Mayor and 47th Deputy Mayor were elected unopposed on Thursday. Katriguppe councillor D. Venkatesh Murthy was elected Mayor and Padmanabhanagar councillor L. Srinivas, Deputy Mayor.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) officially announced the names of the candidates after the breakfast meeting Thursday morning. The election proceedings, conducted by Regional Commissioner Shambu Dayal Meena, commenced at 2 p.m. No other councillor had filed nomination to the Mayor's post and Mr. Murthy was declared the city's First Citizen at around 2.20 p.m.
Apart from Mr. Srinivas, Independent candidate M.B. Govinde Gowda (Hegganahalli) also filed his nomination for Deputy Mayor's post, only to withdraw it later, and the former was elected unopposed.
Though the election to the 12 Standing Committees was also scheduled on Thursday, the Regional Commissioner postponed it due to lack of quorum in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council. It is now scheduled for May 3.
Mr. Murthy looked ecstatic as he wore the mayoral robe and assumed charge as the BJP's third Mayor. The third-time councillor said he would work to improve the city's newly added areas. Echoing this, Mr. Srinivas, a second-time councillor, said he would focus on the infrastructure there, besides education and health sectors.
Observers said the ruling BJP, with an eye on the Assembly elections next year, had played it smart by choosing a Mayor from the Kuruba community and his deputy from the Vokkaliga community.
Even on Wednesday, there was uncertainty with regard to the candidates, with a section among the senior councillors favouring Shakambari Nagar councillor B. Somashekar while others backed Mr. Venkatesh Murthy. According to sources, there was also some disquiet that both Mr. Murthy and Mr. Srinivas are from Bangalore south and there were calls for Kodigehalli councillor Ashwath Narayan Gowda to be chosen Deputy Mayor.
After three rounds of meetings with the city unit members, city's BJP MLAs and councillors, the party eventually decided on Mr. Murthy and Mr. Srinivas. While Mr. Murthy enjoys the support of BJP State president K.S. Eshwarappa, Mr. Srinivas finds favour with Home Minister R. Ashok, who is also district in-charge Minister.
Mr. Murthy's mother Venkatamma sported a big grin when her son waved out to his supporters in the public gallery. “I want him to work for the uplift of the poor. I want him to earn a good name for himself. We knew he was destined for greater things and he has proven us right.”
His wife K. Prabha and daughter V. Ashwini said that the family would do everything possible to support Mr. Murthy.
“We feel privileged that he has been chosen Mayor. There were indications over the past 15 days.”