Bengaluru

Standing Committee polls adjourned as councillors remain absent

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) head office in Bengaluru. File photo.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) head office in Bengaluru. File photo.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

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New dates will be announced later, says Regional Commissioner

Not a single Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) councillor or other members of the 226-strong council, which includes MLAs, MLCs and MPs, reported for the elections to the 12 Standing Committees scheduled on Wednesday, and no nominations were filed. The election was scheduled at 11.30 a.m. at Sir Puttanna Chetty Town Hall.

Facing rows and rows of empty chairs, Regional Commissioner Harsh Gupta, accompanied by BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar and Deputy Commissioner (Bengaluru Urban) G.N. Shivamurthy, stood up for the national anthem. Mr. Gupta then announced the adjournment of the meeting due to lack of quorum.

Apart from election officials, no councillor is present for the election.

Apart from election officials, no councillor is present for the election.   | Photo Credit: Chitra V. Ramani

Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Gupta said the election notification was issued by his office on November 21 after seeking a clarification from the Election Commission about whether it could be held when the model code of conduct was in force in view of the bypolls to 15 constituencies in the state, four of which come under the BBMP limits.

Mr. Gupta said new dates will be announced soon. “The winners of the four constituencies will have to be added to the BBMP council. The procedure to finalise new dates and announce the same will take around 15-20 days,” he said.

Earlier in the day, not more than 10 councillors, including Mayor M. Goutham Kumar, ruling party leader Muneendra Kumar, opposition leader Adbul Wajid, Janata Dal (S) floor leader Nethra Narayan, former mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana, and former opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy, came to Town Hall. However, none were around when the election proceedings began.

Senior councillors told The Hindu that all three parties in the BBMP council-- Congress, Janata Dal (S) and BJP-- had unanimously decided to give the elections a miss. “All councillors are busy with the bypolls to Shivajinagar, K.R. Puram, Mahalakshmi Layout, and Yeshwanthpur. So, we decided to absent ourselves,” one of them said.

Wasteful expenditure: councillors

The BBMP reportedly spent nearly ₹6 ​lakh in making arrangements for the elections to the Standing Committees that was to be held on Wednesday.

Opposition leader Abdul Wajid blamed the State government for “wasting tax payers’ money”. He said though all three parties had written to the Regional Commissioner to postpone the elections, it was still held.

BBMP sources said the civic body had made arrangements for breakfast for around 500 persons, including members of the BBMP council, election officials, police and media personnel. On the menu was pongal, vada and kesari bath.

“The food was distributed among election officials and 60-70 police personnel present at Town Hall. The leftover was brought to the BBMP head office and distributed to civic staff,” sources said, and added that the major component of the expenditure was towards food. Sources said around ₹2 lakh went towards putting up barricades and tents at the venue.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 9:15:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bbmp-standing-committee-polls-no-nominations-filed/article30157968.ece

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