Mysuru: The coalition partners Congress and JD(S) successfully passed the litmus test of Mayoral Election this morning with Pushpalatha Jagannath of Congress being elected as Mayor and Shafi Ahmed of the JD(S) being elected as the Deputy Mayor.
The Mayoral polls were held at Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar auditorium at Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) premises at around 11.30 am. While Pushpalatha Jagannath is the Corporator from Ward 11 Shanthinagar (Mahadevapura Road), Shafi Ahmed is the Corporator from Ward 31 K.N. Pura (Ghousianagar). Pushpalatha was the Deputy Mayor in 2010.
In the 65-member Council, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had bagged 22 seats emerging as the single largest party, Congress won 19 seats, Janata Dal (Secular) 18 seats.
Five seats were won by Independents and one seat was won by Bahujan Samaj Party. The coalition partners resolved to forge a post-poll alliance to keep the BJP out of power.
In the election, Pushpalatha Jagannath bagged 48 votes and was elected the Mayor and she defeated BJP candidate Sunanda Palanethra who secured 24 votes. Shafi Ahmed polled 48 votes and was elected the Deputy Mayor and he defeated M. Satish of BJP who secured 24 votes.
For the election, the Congress (19 seats) had 21 votes (one MLA Tanveer Sait and one MLC R. Dharmasena) and the JD(S) (18 seats) had 22 votes (Minister G.T. Devegowda, MLCs Marithibbegowda, Sandesh Nagaraj and K.T. Srikantegowda). The BJP (22 seats) had 24 votes (MP Pratap Simha, MLA S.A. Ramdas and L. Nagendra).
MP Pratap Simha was, however, absent for voting and he arrived at the polling hall after the election. BJP rebel candidate M.V. Ramprasad took a neutral stand in both Mayor and Deputy’s election. Even as Congress and JD(S) cobbled up a working majority, they gained the support of the lone BSP Member and five Independents.
Yesterday, there was a stiff competition among the coalition partners for the Mayor’s post and it was a test for both parties as they had resolved to take on the BJP in Karnataka during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. They could not have afforded to betray their differences openly.
Congress leaders said that as the party had given the Chief Minister’s post to the JD(S), the latter should have no qualms in leaving the Mayor’s post to the Congress. Even the JD(S) was insisting on the Mayor’s post as the party felt that it had a strong presence in Mysuru.
The consensus, was however, reached in Bengaluru following the intervention of JD(S) Supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and CM Kumaraswamy. Former CM Siddharamaiah is said to have spoken to Deve Gowda and broke the deadlock.
The coalition partners also discussed the power-sharing formula that needs to be adopted for five years. Accordingly, the coalition partner that gets the Mayor’s post first (Congress) will enjoy the power for first two years. Likewise, the partner that gets the Mayor’s post on the third year (JD-S) will remain in power for the remaining three years.
Standing Committee members: Elections to the four Standing Committees of the MCC were also held this morning. Seven members each were elected unopposed for the Standing Committees. The Presidents of the Standing Committees will be elected at a later stage.
For the Finance and Taxation Standing Committee, Corporators Rukmini Mahadev, Safir Ahmed, Shobha, S. Prema, M. Shivakumar, C. Vedavathi and Sharath Kumar were elected; Health and Sanitation Standing Committee: Eight nomination papers were filed and among them, the papers of Corporator Hajira were rejected as they were not in order. Finally, Corporators Sathwik, Ramesh, Taslim, Lokesh, C. Sridhar, Samiulla and Geetha Yoganand were elected to the Committee.
For the Town Planning Standing Committee too, there were eight nominations and the nomination of C. Sridhar was rejected as he was already elected as the member of Health and Sanitation Standing Committee. Finally, Lakshmi, R. Nagaraju, K.V. Sridhar, Syed Afrathullah, Ashwini Ananthu, R. Rangaswamy and Shanthamma were elected unopposed.
For the Audit Standing Committee, Mohammad Rafiq, Begum alias Pallavi, Srinivas, Roopa, K. Champaka, Usha and Ayub Khan were elected unopposed.
Excise Commissioner V. Yashwanth, who is the in-charge Regional Commissioner, was Mayoral Election Returning Officer and Additional Deputy Commissioner T. Yogesh was the Deputy Polling Officer.
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