In an embarrassing situation to the Karnataka Chief minister BS Yediyurappa, the regional commissioner of Bengaluru division, has chosen to go ahead with the elections to the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Bengaluru, scheduled to be held today. Earlier, the Chief Minister had postponed the polls.
Addressing reporters at Shikaripura, which is his constituency, Yediyurappa said: “The High Court has postponed elections to [eight] standing committees in the [Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the civic body]. Similarly, I have ordered that the mayoral elections should be held along with that. The mayoral election will not be held for the month-and-a-half.”
Yediyurappa was referring to a petition challenging election to eight of the 12 committees in the BBMP. However, Harsh Gupta, regional commissioner of the Bengaluru Division, who is in charge of holding the polls, said that he had decided to go ahead with elections for the mayor and deputy mayor posts, apart from the four committees that were not part of the High Court petition.
“We had received a letter from the Urban Development Department that we should take necessary action… to postpone,” Gupta said. “We replied that we are going ahead as per the law. Therefore, we are already addressing the concerns. So, in this regard there is no need to postpone the election,” he said.
Gupta clarified that the matter pending before the High Court involved eight of 12 standing committees. Hence, elections will be held for the remaining standing committees and the posts of mayor and deputy mayor.
The mayoral elections have assumed importance as the BJP is set to win after a gap of four years. Though it had won the highest number of wards in the BBMP elections in 2016, it was pipped to the mayoral post thanks to a coalition of the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular). This alliance is no more in place, paving the way for the BJP to win the polls. Therefore, the decision to delay the polls had caused confusion in the BJP.