KARNATAKA

BJP bags Bellary CMC President's post

BELLARY, FEB. 9. G. Somashekar Reddy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was elected unopposed as President of the Bellary City Municipal Council (CMC) on Monday for the second and last term of the present five-year tenure.

Election to the post was necessitated following B. Kumaraswamy, who was elected to the post with the support of the Congress, was disqualified for defecting and violating the party whip in August 2002.

Mr. Kumaraswmay and Sheikh Moinuddin, who had both won on the BJP ticket, violated the party whip and voted against the party's official candidate and had supported the Congress candidate.

A complaint filed against them by the BJP then was disposed of by the Deputy Commissioner in the third week of January last holding that the action of the two had attracted the provisions of the Karnataka Local Authorities Act (Prohibition of Defection) 1987 and not only disqualified them but also ordered that they would cease to be members with immediate effect.

Mr. Somashekar Reddy, who was defeated by Mr. Kumaraswamy in the previous election, was the only one to file the nomination papers.

But for one, all the other BJP councillors were present.

The Congress, which was aware of the inevitable poll outcome, chose to skip the election. Thus, Mr. Somashekar Reddy was declared elected by the Deputy Commissioner, S.N. Jayaram, who conducted the proceedings.

G. Janardhana Reddy, President of the district unit of BJP, G. Karunakar Reddy, former president of the district unit, K. Ramalingappa, and B. Sriramulu, congratulated Mr. Somashekar Reddy on his victory.

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