For the second time in the history of city mayoral polls, the top two posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor have been clinched by women candidates. While Gangambike Mallikarjun of the Congress is the city Mayor, her deputy is Ramila Umashankar of the Janata Dal (S).
On the day of the poll, there was a lot of confusion with the BJP claiming it’s stake to the top posts. The party had also attempted to swing the votes of the five independent councillors in its favour. In an attempt to thwart this, the independent councillors were taken away by the Congress to a resort on the city’s outskirts.
Meanwhile, two councillors from the JD (S) — Manjula Narayanaswamy and Devadas —said they would support the BJP and it’s candidates. The BJP had fielded Shobha Anjanappa and Pratibha Dhanraj for the posts of Mayor and Deputy mayor.
In another attempt to wrest power from the Congress-JD (S) combine in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Opposition Leader Padmanabha Reddy wrote a letter to the Regional Commissioner stating that four voters – Jairam Ramesh, Raghu Achar, C.R. Manohar, V.S. Ugrappa – were not eligible to vote in the polls, as they have been elected from other districts. He demanded that they be disqualified. When the four were allowed to cast their vote, the BJP members staged a walkout.
Despite all attempts by BJP, the Congress and JDS councillors were elected to the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor. They bagged 130 votes and 129 votes each. Ananth Kumar, Nirmala Seetharaman and Roshan Baig were absent.
Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara expressed his happiness and thanked electoral officers and all leaders of the coalition government. “This result is an indication of a strong bonding between coalition partners,” he said adding that the government will extend all the support to the new mayor and deputy mayor.
When asked about the BJP walkout, he said, “BJP was trying to poach our corporators since the last three to four days and when it didn’t happen they are disappointed.”
Meanwhile, the newly elected Mayor Gangambike told reporters in her first press meet after assuming the position said her preference is towards ensuring cleanliness and looking after health aspects of Bengaluru.
She thanked all the leaders of Congress and JD(S). “In my term as Mayor I will see to it that we don’t take strictures from the court again,” she said.
The Mayor sought the support of the citizens and the media for the smooth working of city’s administration.