Bengaluru (DHNS): The BJP desperately tried in vain through the day on Friday to contact the six of the eight independent candidates elected to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council, as soon as news broke that the Congress and JD(S) were trying to forge an alliance for the mayoral polls.
Four of the eight independents had evinced interest to join the BJP. Some of them had even come to the BJP office on Wednesday and Thursday. However, much to the desperation of the BJP, they remained incommunicado on Friday. The only succour to BJP was that the independent candidate elected from Ulsoor ward Mamatha Sarvana officially joined the BJP on Friday.
Three independents candidates including Gayathri (Kempapura Agrahara), Chandrappa Reddy (Konena Agrahara) and Lakshminaryana (Domlur) were once with the BJP and had contested as rebels in the BBMP, as they failed to get the party tickets.
But on Friday, they had switched off their mobiles and could not be traced by the BJP leaders. The BJP, which has 100 corporators, needs the support of four independents, to cross the magic number of 126 (corporators plus elected representatives of Bengaluru), required to get its choice of mayor elected. Party election incharge and former deputy chief minister R Ashoka, Ashwathnarayana, MLC stayed put in the BJP head quarters in Malleswaram the entire day keeping track of the developments. BJP’s Bengaluru legislators also joined him.
It is said Ashoka even called BJP National President Amit Shah to brief him about the attempts by the JD(S) and the Congress to forge an alliance. The BJP, which has 100 corporators, needs the support of four independents, to cross the magic number of 126 required to get its choice of mayor elected.
“The Congress, which had tried to postpone the BBMP polls, is now trying to play a new game. People have rejected the Congress, but they are now trying to grab power through the backdoor using undemocratic means,” Ashoka told reporters.
He said the Congress was insulting the people by not respecting their mandate.Later in the day, the BJP tried to establish a channel of communication with the JD(S) through MLC D U Mallikarjun. Mallikarjun was elected to the Legislative Council with the joint support of the BJP and the JD(S) and is close to H D Kumaraswamy. Mallikarjun told reporters that he tried to convince Kumaraswamy not to join hands with the Congress.
Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, who arrived at the BJP office in the evening, said it was unlikely that the Congress and the JD(S) alliance would materialise. “(Chief Minister) Siddaramaiah and (JD-S National President) H D Deve Gowda do not get along. The JD(S) has supported us on various issues including D K Ravi issue, corruption in Lokayukta, farmer suicide, I do not think they will ditch us,” Sadananda Gowda said. Ashoka said the party would also keep all options open. However, he evaded a question whether the BJP would join hands with the JD(S). “Let us see what happens,” he said.