BS Yeddyurappa backed Congress candidate for mayor?

Bengaluru: Despite its political maneoverings to defeat the Congress in the city’s mayoral elections,  the state BJP was allegedly secretly backing its party candidate, Ms Gangambike Mallikarjun for mayor. The reason? She is a Veerashaiva Lingayat and with the entire community rooting for  her, it couldn’t afford to antagonise it , claim sources. 

If they are to be believed, state BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is also a Veerashaiva-Lingayat,  had no choice but to back Ms Mallikarjun because pontiffs of the  community and Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha president, Shamanoor Shivashankarappa, had thrown their weight behind her.

“Any serious attempt by the BJP to defeat Gangambike would have brought the wrath of  the community on it. So, Yeddyurapppa  played it safe,” say sources, claiming that all the drama about corporators going missing before the poll and the legal issues raised was only meant for public consumption. When 24 hours before the polls, two independent corporators went missing, the Congress blamed the BJP and its ‘Operation Lotus’. 

Then on Friday morning, the BJP leaders called the mayoral elections illegal as a case was pending before the  Karnataka High Court challenging the legality of a few Congress MLAs and MLCs,  enrolled as voters both in Bengaluru and their native places, voting in it and  walked out of the BBMP council hall in protest. But this only paved the way for the smooth election of Ms Mallikarjun as mayor and Ms Ramila Umashankar as deputy mayor, sources point out.

“If they were serious about stalling the election, they would have moved the high court a week or two before the 

polls on this ground,” they argue, adding that the BJP only made a half-hearted attempt to stop the election and achieved its true purpose of seeing a Veerashaiva-Lingayat become mayor. 

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