Mayoral polls: JD(S) ready to align with Congress

Former Minister S.R. Mahesh says Cong. can ‘take post’ for remainder of term, but sets conditions

Less than three-and-a-half months after the election of Rukmini Made Gowda from the JD(S) as the Mayor of Mysuru with the support of Congress had sparked a political row not only between the two parties, but also within the Congress, the two parties are set to come together again for the mid-term polls to the post of Mayor scheduled for June 11.

Political activity has picked up in Mysuru after Regional Commissioner G.C. Prakash finalised the date for polls after Ms. Rukmini Made Gowda lost the post following a recent order by the Karnataka High Court disqualifying her as a member of the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) while hearing a petition against her for submitting a false affidavit relating to assets.

Soon after the February 24 mayoral polls, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had taken serious exception to the party corporators extending support to the JD (S) candidate despite his instructions to secure the post for the Congress, which led to Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) serving a notice on former Minister Tanveer Sait for taking a unilateral decision on supporting the JD(S).

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, former Minister S.R. Mahesh said the JD(S) corporators were not adamant on the post of Mayor this time. “We will ask for the Mayor’s post. But, if they (Congress) want it for the remainder of the term, they can take it”, he said. However, he said the Congress should cede the post to the JD(S) for the remaining two terms of the MCC.

Mr. Mahesh, who has already communicated the JD(S) stand to KPCC Working President R. Dhruvanarayan, has set another condition: that Mr. Siddaramaiah or the KPCC leadership should speak to JD(S) leaders H.D. Kumaraswamy or H.D. Deve Gowda to seal the deal.

Meanwhile, Mysuru City Congress Committee President R. Murthy said the Congress was hopeful of bagging the postthis time as the JD(S) had promised to offer support. Congress party’s Anwar Baig is already the Deputy Mayor. However, the party is yet to finalise its candidate for the post of Mayor, whose remainder term is expected to be limited to around seven months.

The BJP has decided to field its candidate in the elections. “We will be fielding our candidate in the polls. We have not been approached by any party. The JD(S) talks to us only to bargain with the Congress, which will be its eventual ally”, said party spokesperson M.G. Mahesh.

The BJP has 22 members in the 65-member MCC. The Congress and JD(S) have 19 and 18 members respectively. One BSP and five independents constitute the rest of the Council. The reservation for the post will remain unchanged – woman from the general category.

Meanwhile, the MCC has begun conducting RT-PCR tests for corporators and officials, who will be participating in the mayoral polls.

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