Mysuru: The BJP received a shot in the arm when for the first time its corporator Sunanda Palanethra became Mayor of the city following the collapse of ruling Congress and the JD(S) alliance on Wednesday.
In the 64-member Mysuru city corporation, the BJP held 22 seats, Congress 19, JD(S) 17, and one BSP, while there were five independents after the disqualification of a Councilor.
The Congress-JDS alliance had continued at the corporation here despite the collapse of the coalition government in the state in 2019 due to the disqualification of 17 MLAs of the two outfits.
However, fissures developed in the at the helm of the corporation ahead of the mayoral election.
The Congress wanted to field its own candidate and was reluctant to support the JD(S), which eventually remained "neutral", helping the BJP clinch victory.
While the BJP fielded Palanethra, the Congress candidate was Shantha Kumari. The JD(S) stayed away from voting.
Palanethra secured 26 votes and the Congress nominee, 22 votes. In the electoral college, BJP's two MLAs and an MP from the city voted for Palanethra. Apart from them an independent councilor is learnt to have voted in favour of Palanethra, sources said.
Sunanda Palanethra, a councilor from ward number 59, will have a tenure of only six months, the sources added.
"I am extremely delighted with the victory and I express my gratitude to all the councillors, elected representatives and the people of Mysuru. I will do everything for the betterment of Mysuru," a jubilant Palanethra told reporters.
Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai, former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, Mysuru MP Pratap Simha, district in-charge minister S T Somashekar and MLAs S A Ramadas and Nagendra were among those who greeted Palanethra.
Greeting the newly elected mayor, Bommai said, "After years of toil, Mysuru has got a BJP Mayor. I congratulate Sunanda Palanethra. I greet all the councillors, MP, MLA, Mysuru in charge minister Somashekar."
In his tweet, Yediyurappa said, "The BJP getting the mayoral post is a strong indication that the roots of the party are spreading."
Ever since Mysuru city became a Corporation in 1983, no one from the BJP had ever become the mayor....