Hectic efforts by parties to gain control of Bengaluru civic body

Bengaluru, Aug 29: BJP today accused ruling Congress of "horse trading" as it continued efforts to gain control of the city civic body even as JDS maintained suspense over reports it was trying to hobnob with Congress for an alliance.

JD(S) headed by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda shifted all its Corporators to Kochi in Kerala, as BJP sought to woo the party to make up for numbers to bag the posts of mayor and deputy mayor as it fell marginally short of the magic figure required.

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Congress too held a meeting with its Corporators and MLAs in the presence of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and party state President G Parameshwara. Union Law Minister D V Sadananada Gowda met Gowda as part of BJP's efforts to gain control over Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

Speaking to reporters later, Sadananda Gowda said "Deve Gowda told me that he has not taken any decision. He is still discussing with his party leaders and will take a decision after Wednesday - keeping in mind all the developments."

"I told him my party expects to give good administration to people of Bengaluru with co-operation of JD(S)," he added. Amidst reports that two Congress MLAs accompanied six Independent Corporators to Kochi, JD(S) under the leadership of its MLA Zameer Ahmed drove all its 14 corporators to the Airport from where they reportedly flew to Kochi.

Ruling out the possibility of JD(S) joining hands with BJP in the backdrop of meeting between Deve Gowda and Sadanada Gowda, Ahmed said "it is not possible..." He also said JD(S) Corporators are being moved out as they fear BJP may influence them. Meanwhile Siddaramaiah ruled out any alliance between Congress and JD(S).

Speaking to reporters after meeting party MLAs and Corporators, he said, "there is no alliance....; we have greeted our new Corporators and have asked them to work efficiently for the people." Parameshwara said "...till now such discussions have not taken place at the Pradesh Congress level; ....any alliance related processes cannot and will not happen without the consent of our high-command."

Accusing Congress of indulging in "horse-trading", Union Minister Ananth Kumar demanded that Siddaramamaih "apologise" to the people of Bengaluru. Upsetting Congress plans to wrest control of the BBMP council, BJP won 100 wards out of 198, as the results were declared on Tuesday for the polls held on August 22. Congress had bagged 76, JD(S)bagged 14 and others eight.

With one independent Corporator joining BJP, the party has increased its tally to 101. Besides Corporators, the 255-member BBMP Council includes 57 other members from Bengaluru with voting rights.

They include Members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, MLAs and MLCs. With the magic number to gain control over BBMP being 128, BJP's strength including non-corporator members stands at 125, Congress' at 101, JD(S) 21 and others at eight.


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