Bengaluru: The race for the coveted Mayor’s post has already begun. With the present Mayor Gangambike’s term set to end by September, top Congress leaders in the BBMP have already thrown their hat in the ring.
The post this year has been reserved for general category and the probable candidates are Shankarmutt ward corporator M. Shivaraj, Jayamahal ward corporator M.K. Gunashekar and Dattatreya ward corporator Sathyanarayana.
Former ruling party leader in BBMP and Gurpannapalya ward corporator Mohammad Rizwan’s name is also doing rounds.
However among these four, the forerunners are Shivaraj and Gunashekar and they both are locked in a close fight. Both the leaders have served as Chairman of the standing committee of taxation and finance.
The elected Mayor will be the last one among the Congress-JD(S) coalition in the BBMP and it will be followed by fresh elections.
While Gunashekar is known for his debates in the civic body and is well versed in Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act, 1976 which governs the civic body, steps taken by Shivaraj to improve property tax collection was appreciated by former chief minister Siddaramaiah. He is also close to the Congress state leadership.
Congress party sources maintain that chances of Gunashekar occupying the top post is higher, as after this term they have to face elections and they can showcase a good performance to the people.
Gunashekar told Deccan Chronicle, “In the year 2016, I was one of the top contenders for the post. That time, our leaders requested me to help Manjunath Reddy be the Mayor and assured to give me an opportunity later.”
Gunashekar is three-time corporator and has been getting elected from Jayamahal ward since 2000. He has presented BBMP budget twice.
“When I presented the budget for the first time in 2009, my focus was on improving the green cover and environment. I had also batted for financial discipline in the civic body. In 2017, I made provisions for supply of free heart stents for the poor,” Gunashekar said. These works were well received by the people and leaders, he added.
I wish to serve more for the city and I am hopeful that the Congress leaders chose me for the Mayor post, he wished....