Bengaluru to get new mayor today; BJP has an edge over Congress-JD(S)

Bengaluru: Putting an end to the widespread speculation that the mayoral elections will be postponed, City’s Regional Commissioner Harsh Gupta on Monday announced that the polls will be held on Tuesday (October 1) as scheduled earlier. 

“There is no confusion over the polling date. Our office is preparing to hold the election on Tuesday. It’s three days since the term of mayor has expired. There is no need to postpone the elections again,” Harsha Gupta, who is in-charge of holding the election, told reporters.

On Tuesday, the members of BBMP will elect a new mayor, deputy mayor and chairpersons for the four standing committees. While the contestants are asked to file nomication papers by 9.30pm, the election will start at 11.30am. The BBMP will also elect chairpersons for the standing committees on Tax and Finance, Public Health, Accounts and Markets. 

The Karnataka High Court on Friday last had ordered an interim stay on BBMP’s remaining eight standing committees including ward-level public works, education, horticultre, town planning and improvements, appeals etc. The interim stay was passed after hearing a petition filed by Imran Pasha, chairperson of the standing committee on education and sports that the newly-elected BJP government in the state had cut short their term of office. 

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister B.S Yediyurappa made a surprise announcement that the mayoral elections have been postponed by 45 days. “I have ordered to postpone the election untill the Court passes a judgement on holding electioins to the eight standing committees,” the chief minister said in a press meet in Shivamogga. 

The Urban Development Department too had written a letter to the Regional Commissioner’s office, asking to postpone the election. Harsh Gupta said he consulted the legal team before sticking to the date scheduled earlier. He said the election to the eight standing committees can be held seperately as and when the Court completes the hearing. 

No clarity on candidates

None of the parties have shortlisted candidates for the different posts including that of mayor and deputy mayor. Since all the three parties including BJP and Congress are short of clear majority, the support of indepedent candidates is crucial.

While the Congress-JD(S) coalition were in power in the last four years, the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to wrest control over BBMP with the support of indepedent candidates. The saffron party is also confident to come back to power as expelled Congress MLAs will not be able to cast votes.