Mayoral polls: JD(S) prefers to sit in Oppn.

Party not in favour of continuing alliance with Cong. or joining hands with BJP

The Janata Dal (Secular) members in the hung Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) are reportedly preferring to sit in the Opposition instead of aligning with the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party.

At a meeting held here on Sunday ahead of the Mayoral polls, JD(S) members and former Mayors favoured the party maintaining equidistance with the Congress and the BJP.

“Even if we don’t have power, it is alright. Let us sit in the Opposition,” said former Minister S.R. Mahesh while seeking to express the opinion of the JD(S) councillors and former Mayors attending the meeting. The JD(S) has 18 members in the 65-member MCC. The BJP has 22 while the Congress has 19, besides five Independents and one BSP member.

The JD(S), which had aligned with the BJP in the previous term, joined hands with the Congress after the 2018 MCC elections when the JD(S)-Congress coalition government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy was in power. Pushpalatha Jagannath of the Congress was made the Mayor in the first term while incumbent Mayor Tasneem from the JD(S) occupied the post in the second term. Under the terms of present alliance with the Congress, the third term is to go to Congress and the last two terms to the JD(S), explained Mr. Mahesh.

But, the relationship between Congress and JD(S) has been strained in view of developments in the parties at the State-level and the non-cooperation by Congress members of the MCC with Ms. Tasneem, he said.

Hence, most MCC members are not in favour of either continuing the alliance or joining hands with the BJP. “The opinion of the party councillors and former Mayors will be communicated to the party’s State leadership, who will take a final decision,” Mr. Mahesh added.

He also reacted angrily to statements issued by BJP leaders that the saffron party will have its first Mayor of Mysuru in alliance with the JD(S). “The JD(S) has not been pledged with anybody,” he remarked.

BJP MP Pratap Simha and BJP MLA S.A. Ramdas have both expressed confidence of striking an alliance with the JD(S) while Congress’s Tanveer Sait claimed that the alliance between Congress and JD(S) will continue.

Ms. Tasneem’s tenure is scheduled to end on January 18, but the government is yet to announce the reservation for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

Meanwhile, Ms. Tasneem has urged the State government to extend her tenure on the grounds that she was unable to take up programmes in view of COVID-19. She said the government did not release any funds for development works during COVID-19 and the MCC was also not able to generate any revenue during the period.

Hence, she was planning to give a memorandum to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa during his visit to Mysuru on Monday.

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