The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders may have managed to convince the party's rebel candidates to withdraw from the BBMP Council elections. But they have a mammoth task ahead.
Sources in the party told The Hindu that most candidates were convinced to withdraw from the fray with an assurance that they will be nominated to the BBMP Council and other boards and corporations.
With the State Government having powers to nominate 10 per cent of the total number of corporators to the council (20 members this time as the wards have increased from 100 to 198), the dejected candidates are hoping that the leaders will keep their promise.
Although nominated corporators do not even have voting rights, the disappointed members are desperate to get into the council. “If not anything, at least we will have the corporator tag with us,” said one of the dejected candidates. While the leaders have managed to convince most ticket aspirants, two staunch followers of the former Binnypet MLA V. Somanna's faction — Anand S. Hosur and B.S. Puttaraju — refused to relent. Having high stakes in their wards, these two are posing a threat to the party's official candidates.
“We have a problem of rebels only in these two wards. Otherwise, we are in a comfortable position,” a senior party leader said.
Although Mr. Somanna has managed to get the party's ticket to most of his followers such as Umesh Shetty (Nagarbhavi), N. Shantakumari (Moodalpalya), Mohan Kumar (Govindrajnagar), Roopa Devi (Agrahara Dasarahalli), Shakuntala Doddalakappa (Marenahall), Vagesh (Maruti Mandir), H. Ravindra (Vijayanagar), one of his close associates, Vishwanath Gowda, has not been accommodated.
Although Mr. Vishwanath Gowda filed his nomination papers and decided to contest as a rebel candidate when he did not get the party's “B” form, he was persuaded by Mr. Somanna to withdraw at the last moment as the party had chosen Gangabhyraiah, a former Opposition leader in the erstwhile BMP Council.