Mayoral polls: BJP has an edge as Congress-JD(S) dither over alliance

With elections to the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor days away, the three principal parties are making plans to occupy the coveted posts.

The Opposition BJP has allegedly sent three independent councillors, who had earlier voted in favour of the Congress-JD(S) combine, to Goa with the intention to woo them. The party has an edge given the larger political scenario in the State.

Old partners now wary

It is still uncertain if the Congress and Janata Dal (S) will continue their alliance. Both parties seem to be waiting to see who will blink first. There appears to be little interest on both sides to make the alliance work with top leaders engaged in constant sparring.

JD(S) leaders, including former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Rajya Sabha MP Kupendra Reddy and MLC T.A. Sharavana, met the party's councillors on Friday. Mr. Sharavana, who is also the party's spokesperson, told The Hindu that the decision on continuation of the alliance now rests with the Congress leadership.

“We have no objection in continuing with the alliance. We need a clear indication from the Congress leadership about the same. The Congress leaders have sought a day’s time,” he said.

Senior Congress leaders, who used to earlier spearhead discussions with the JD(S) with regard to the alliance and candidates for the top posts, are showing disinterest this year. It is said that these leaders are reportedly disgruntled at being sidelined by the party.

Meanwhile, the BJP seems far from finalising its candidates. Various contenders are lobbying to be named the party’s candidates.

Top contenders

The front-runners are Opposition Leader Padmanabha Reddy, Jakkur councillor Muneendra Kumar K.A., Kumaraswamy Layout councillor L. Srinivas, Katriguppe councillor M. Venkatesh (Sangati), Jogupalya councillor M. Gautam Kumar, Kadu Malleswara councillor Manjunath Raju J., Nagarbhavi councillor Mohan Kumar and Govindarajanagar councillor K. Umesh Shetty.

According to sources, the BJP is likely to announce its candidates for the two posts on Monday. Sources said a panel that was formed to identify candidates had ‘interviewed’ the aspirants, asking them about the various issues that they had raised during council meetings, how active they were during discussions in the council, apart from their vision for the city.

“But the panel was scrapped before it could give a report on who the ideal candidates were,” sources pointed out.

According to another BJP source, though many city MLAs are backing Mr. Reddy, it was pointed out that he has been the Opposition Leader for four years. Many RSS leaders are reportedly supporting Mr. Muneendra Kumar while a few others are in favour of Mr. Srinivas.

Sources said the party may also chose a candidate from the Vokkaliga community for the Mayor's post.

“After 2002-03, there has been no Mayor from the Vokkaliga community. With the ED case against Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar, who is seen as a prominent leader of the community, the party may choose a Vokkaliga councillor,” sources said.

The other aspirants may be made chairpersons of important Standing Committees, such as Town Planning and Finance.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 8:15:11 AM |

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