Bengaluru: BJP corporators tense over tickets
The BIG Fight: BBMP Polls In September?
Bengaluru: The term of the present Urban Local Body (ULB) Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is coming to an end this September.
The incumbent BJP is making hectic preparations for the BBMP polls, a pointer to all the major elections in the city and state. With the elections to BBMP nearing, several candidates are lobbying for tickets. However, the BJP is thinking of radical changes in the ticket issuing formula for strengthening the party.
It is learnt that at least 50 senior corporators could be asked 'sacrifice' their wards.
South Bengaluru is the strong bastion of the BJP. Speculations are rife that at least 50 senior corporators would be given an option to either involve themselves in party building or contest from wards where the Congress, JD(S) or independents are strong.
These 50 plus corporators have nurtured their wards and ensured development activities to ensure that they land a ticket from the same ward. However, the party seems to be in no mood to give tickets to these 50 corporators. Instead, the party is mulling to give a chance to new faces. The BJP's logic: Capture those wards which are the strong bastion of rival parties.
For instance, Basavanagudi ward has been represented by a senior most corporator who has also embraced the post of Mayor. The corporator has been representing the ward for nearly 25 years. South Bengaluru also comprises a few similar wards where the BJP's victory is certain. The South Bengaluru comprises of mostly Brahmins, who are die-hard votaries of the BJP.
"We are focussing mainly on winning more seats in order to serve the public in a better way. Winnability is always a criterion and we also give preference to party ideologies and principles. Giving preference to new faces has been an ongoing process in our party and this has been tested and succeeded in not just in BBMP polls but also assembly and parliamentary elections," a senior BJP leader said.
The party is waiting for the 2021 population census and the number of wards will be increased from 198 to 224 by adding villages which share their borders with the BBMP. The villages which have grown considerably and whose population has gone up will be merged with the BBMP.
The number of wards will be increased to give scope for youth and dedicated party workers for the polls. Already, villages or areas around Anekal, Benglauru South, Mahadevapura, Yelahanka and Yeshwanthapur have been identified, sources said.
In the last BBMP polls, the BJP gave 60 per cent of tickets to new faces. This time candidates would be shortlisted at least 20 days in advance giving them ample opportunity to campaign in their respective wards.
In fact, a seven-member committee will be formed to shortlist candidates. Candidates with clean image in the public would be chosen for contesting polls. Three names from each of the categories should be sent to the committee. The committee will have a final say, the sources asserted.
Will these Be made scapegoats?
♦ Katte Satyanarayana: Senior most corporator in the BBMP council and considered as the 'Bhishma pitamaha' in the BBMP council. He had served as the mayor. He had been contesting on the BJP ticket from Basavanagudi ward, a strong hold of the BJP. The ward has high Brahmin voters.
♦ S K Nataraj: A senior corporator from Sarakki ward. During the 2015 election, he could not contest as it was reserved for women. Instead, his wife Lakshmi Nataraj contested and retained the ward. Nataraj too served as the first citizen of the city.
♦ Padmanabha Reddy: Tried his luck as a legislator from the Sarvagnanagar constituency and served as the ruling party leader on the floor of the BBMP council in the BJP.
♦ CK Ramamurthy: Although he did not occupy the plum position of a Mayor or served as a ruling party leader, he was the chairman of the Public Works Committee, considered a plum post in the civic body. He fielded his wife Nagaratna Ramamurthy.