There is still uncertainty about when the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget will be presented. While several councillors from the ruling party (BJP) want the budget to be postponed by a week, Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy is steadfast about presenting it on July 20.
A senior councillor, on condition of anonymity, told The Hindu that none of the councillors were kept in the loop. “The Congress is in power in the State, while the BJP is the ruling party in the council. The BBMP officials have prepared the draft budget. How can we be certain that the schemes introduced by the BJP have been retained?”
He claimed that Mr. Murthy, who was intent on being the first Mayor to present the budget, was not bothered about ensuring that the BJP’s ideology was fairly represented in it (budget). “This is nothing but caste politics. The Chief Minister and Mayor both belong to the politically strong Kuruba community. This is the reason behind the government giving the green signal to the Mayor to present the budget now,” he said.
The councillor said the BJP had hoped that the government would turn down Mr. Murthy’s request to present the budget. Another councillor said that to present the budget, the Mayor would have to do so standing up. “If the Mayor is standing, all the councillors will have to stand as well,” he said. Ruling Party Leader N. Nagaraju said that the draft budget prepared by the officials could not be accepted. “That apart, it takes time to prepare the speech and print the budget books. The date will be fixed after the budget discussions are held with the councillors during the pre-council meeting and city in-charge Minister,” he said.
However, Mr. Murthy, who met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday, said: “I will discuss it with senior BJP councillors and Opposition leaders. If the party leadership permits, I will present the budget on Saturday.”