Mysore, Apr. 22 (KK&KMC) - The long-drawn-out election process of the City Mayor and Deputy Mayor reached a logical conclusion today with Sandesh Swamy aka Satish of JD(S) getting elected as the 24th Mayor and Pushpalatha Jagannath, an Independent candidate supported by the Congress, being elected as the Deputy Mayor.
Sandesh Swamy won by a margin of 7 votes, obtaining 37 votes in his favour as against the 30 votes polled in favour of P. Nagendra (BJP) on Feb. 26. Earlier in the day, all the 37 had polled against Nagendra.
Pushpalatha polled 42 votes while other contenders Rukmini Madegowda (BJP) and Mahadevamma (JD-S) were absent.
Out of the total 77 votes in MCC, 12 were absent, including MP H. Viswanath. As such, 65 Corporators were present for today's election, including the BJP members who walked out.
Mayor Purushotham declared the duo elected for a period of one year, amid slogan-shouting by the BJP Corporators.
As soon as the election process started at 11 am with incumbent Mayor Purushotham as the Election Officer, the BJP Corporators demanded that the video recording of the election held on Feb. 26 be screened to them, since today's election was its continuation.
But Purushotham denied saying that it had been shown on earlier occasions also to all concerned and there was no need for displaying it again. The BJP Corporators then embarked on a vociferous protest, thumping the desks and shouting slogans in an attempt to stall the election proceedings.
The Mayor, however, called the names of the four Corporators to attest their signatures on the register, which they had not done despite raising their hands in favour of the BJP candidate P. Nagendra on Feb. 26. All the four — Rukmini Madegowda, Mahadevappa, Madesh and K.T. Cheluvegowda — were absent.
As the next step, the Mayor called for polling against Nagendra, not relenting to BJP Corporators' slogan shouting. As many as 37 votes were polled by Congress and JD(S) Corporators against Nagendra of BJP.
This prompted BJP members, including MLAs S.A. Ramdas & H.S. Shankaralingegowda, MLCs Siddaraju, Prof. K.R. Mallikarjunappa and Thontadarya to stage a walkout at around 11.20 am.
MCC In-Charge Commissioner P.C. Jayanna, Council Secretary Gayathri and incumbent Deputy Mayor Sharadamma were present.
Eleventh hour strategy
The outcome follows a poll alliance worked out between the two parties on the eve of the election, in a desperate bid to keep the BJP from clinching the key posts in the Mysore City Corporation (MCC).
Today's election meeting, held at the MCC Council Hall, is the continued edition of the election process held first on Feb. 26, wherein the election had run aground owing to controversies over the defected Corporators.
A High Court Bench, headed by Justice A.S. Bopanna had on Apr. 16, directed the MCC to conduct the elections immediately, stating that the issue of writ petitions filed against the floor-crossing Corporators under the Anti-Defection Act, had nothing to do with the election process.
The Congress-JD(S) alliance was worked out at a meeting held at the residence of MLA V. Sreenivasa Prasad in Jayalakshmipuram in city, attended by Congress MLAs Tanveer Sait and M. Sathyanarayana, former MLA M.K. Somashekhar (Congress), nine former Mayors of Congress, MLC Sandesh Nagaraj (JD-S), Leader of Opposition P. Devaraj, JD(S) MLA S.R. Mahesh, MLC Chikkamadu (JD-S), K.T. Srikantegowda (JD-S) and others. Keeping the BJP at bay was their objective.
During the meeting, the Congress leaders got a directive over phone from their State leaders to go ahead with the alliance and set aside the Mayor's post for JD(S), as had been agreed upon earlier. Besides, Opposition leader in the Assembly Siddharamaiah and MP H. Viswanath named Sreenivasa Prasad and Tanveer Sait as the In-Charge for the alliance.
The three-pronged formula worked out by the alliance partners and mutually agreed upon is: i) Mayor's post to be taken by the JD(S) and as such, to support their candidate Sandesh Swamy. ii) Deputy Mayor's post to be given to Pushpalatha Jagannath. iii) Of the four Standing Committees, two to be headed by the Mayor and other two by the Deputy Mayor.
This apart, it was also agreed upon that the JD(S) must extend support to the Congress in the two subsequent Mayoral polls. As per the agreement, P. Devaraj of Congress, contender for the Mayor's post, withdrew his nomination this morning, submitting his letter of resignation to the Election Officer.
Late in the evening, a meeting of Congress Corporators, headed by Tanveer Sait and M. Sathyanarayana was held at Ambli Resort in Srirangapatna, where a whip was issued to vote in favour of Sandesh Swamy.
Strict instructions were issued to the Corporators during the dinner party not to fracture the newly-forged alliance.
Courtesy : Star Of Mysore