We are ready to hold BBMP council elections anytime: Bommai

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said the State government and the Bharatiya Janata Party were ready to hold elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council anytime and would complete the process in eight weeks.

The Supreme Court direction has now forced the government to hold the civic polls, which the ruling party and most city MLAs were reportedly not keen on holding before the upcoming Assembly elections. The previous BBMP council’s term ended in September 2020 and for almost two years, the city administration was run by bureaucrats.

“The ward delimitation exercise is in its final stages and will be notified very soon. Justice Bhaktavatsalam-led committee carrying out the Supreme Court-mandated three-stage verification for OBC reservation will also hopefully complete the process in eight weeks,” Mr. Bommai said. Following the Madhya Pradesh order, we were very worried that the apex court may ask us to hold civic polls without providing OBC reservation, but we are happy that the apex court has allowed us sufficient time to ensure the polls are held with OBC reservation, he added.

Abdul Wajid, former Congress councillor and petitioner before the Supreme Court seeking directions to the State government for early civic polls, said the order had been a victory for democracy. “The government should not wait for eight weeks and must immediately notify the ward delimitation, as it will take a month’s time to call for public objections,” he said.

Chief Civic Commissioner Tushar Girinath, chairman of the delimitation committee, said the draft was almost ready and would soon be submitted to the government. 

A senior BJP office-bearer in the city said none of the city MLAs, cutting across party lines, were interested in holding the civic polls now. “In each ward, both BJP and Congress have two or three aspirants for the ticket. Holding civic polls now will create heartburn among aspirants and may lead to political polarisation ahead of the Assembly polls. Most MLAs were keen to push the BBMP council polls to after the Assembly polls so that all aspirants would work for them in the elections in the hope of cornering the party ticket for the civic polls,” the leader said.

“Moreover, MLAs are now having a dream run controlling the city and its vast resources, which they are not ready to give up. But the Supreme Court order will now force them to hold the civic polls,” said a former Congress councillor. 

The party most upbeat about the civic polls seems to be the Aam Admi Party. “The ruling BJP had been employing various tactics to delay the elections, but will now have to hold the polls as per the apex court directions. Citizens are fed up of the misrule by the BJP, the Congress and the JD(S). We are confident that we will win the civic polls,” said Pruthvi Reddy, State convener, AAP.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 9:42:05 pm |