Bengaluru: The Congress has welcomed businessman Ashok Kheny into the party with open arms, but the move is causing tremors in BBMP Council, which is governed by a Congress-JD(S) coalition. Soon after Kheny's induction on Monday, JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda had warned that he would now take a decision whether his party should support the Congress in the Palike or not.
The incumbent, Sampath Raj, assumed office as the 51st mayor in September only because of support from the JD(S).
He ruled out the possibility of losing power. He said that the Karnataka State Municipal Corporations Act, which governs the BBMP Council, "does not have provisions to introduce a no-confidence motion in the BBMP." He further pointed out that state JD(S) president H.D. Kumaraswamy had clarified that his party would not upset the coalition in the BBMP.
Sampath Raj told Deccan Chronicle, "The Congress and JD(S) coalition is running a smooth administration and JD(S) corporator Mahadev, who is the taxation and finance standing committee chairman, has presented a wonderful budget which we have already started implementing." Sources, however, said that the latest political development might have an effect on the post-budget discussion at the BBMP Council.
Though the BJP is the single-largest party in the BBMP with 101 corporators, Congress with 76 seats managed to grab power with the help of 14 JD(S) corporators and seven independents.