Not holding BBMP council polls may have little impact on electorate, but parties believe it is a boon

April 24, 2024 10:52 pm | Updated 10:52 pm IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike head office.

A file photo of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike head office. | Photo Credit:


The inordinate delay by successive governments in holding polls for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council has no doubt upset citizens. But leaders of political parties believe that ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls, this delay has helped avoid any disgruntlement arising over ticket distribution for the local body elections.

Not just the BBMP polls, successive governments have failed to conduct even zilla panchayat and taluk panchayat polls. Both BJP and Congress leaders who spar outside on various issues have similar views on local body polls. The BBMP has been running without an elected council for more than three years now. However, this may have little to no impact on the electorate as the Lok Sabha elections are fought on larger issues.

A Congress leader told The Hindu that the government did not want to ruffle any feathers or open the Pandora’s box by conducting BBMP polls at a time when the Lok Sabha elections were nearing. Any disappointment at the local level would have harmed the vote bank of the party, he said.

The BJP, when in power, also delayed the BBMP polls as the Assembly elections were nearing. The BJP, which first carried out delimitation, increased the number of wards from 198 to 243. The Congress government revised the delimitation, reducing the number of wards from 243 to 225. Now, the reservation for the 225 wards is pending. 

Sources said that just after the Congress was catapulted to power, both Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar were keen on holding the BBMP polls. But a few MLAs allegedly misguided them saying the ground for the polls is not favourable for the party. “MLAs cutting across party lines also presented how ticket distribution would lead to discontent among local leaders and workers. Hence, the government decided to think about the BBMP polls after the Lok Sabha elections,” the sources added.

However, two former councillors from the Congress and the BJP, disputing the view of the MLAs and State leaders, said the presence of councillors would have helped in better mobilisation of voters at the ward level. “An MLA alone cannot travel to every ward in his constituency. Even now, the MLAs are depending on former councillors. Some of the councillors are not toiling on the ground as polls were not conducted. Congress leaders who are meeting the former councillors are assuring them of elections in September. If there is further delay, the councillors will start vying for the MLA ticket,” said a former councillor.

Congress councillors say that with the implementation of the guarantee schemes and announcement of flagship projects for Bengaluru, it is the right time for the government to hold the polls. If the polls are further delayed, the party may lose the ground, they added. 

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