Bengaluru, (IANS) Karnataka’s ruling Congress faced embarrassment on Monday when its amendment bill to split the Bengaluru civic body was defeated in the legislative council by two votes.
“The Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015, to split the Bruhat Bangalore Mahnagara Palike (BBMP) into two or more corporations, has been defeated by two votes, after 28 members voted in its favour while 30 voted against it,” council chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy declared.
Of the total 75-member council, 16 lawmakers were absent when the bill was taken up for voice vote.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has 30 members in the chamber, Congress 28, Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) 12 and independents 4.
The legislative assembly, however, passed the amendment bill by voice vote at a special session on April 20 and sent to the council for ratification.
Though the bill was introduced in the council during the special session despite opposition by BJP and JD-S, the chairman referred it to a select committee to study its provisions and make recommendations.
“The 12-member committee submitted its report on July 16, with seven of them opposing the split while five favouring it,” Shankaramurthy said.
The select panel was headed by state IT, Biotechnology, Science and Technology Minister S.R. Patil.
Meanwhile, the Congress said they will again try to have it passed.
“The bill will be re-introduced in the assembly and passed as we have majority in the house and sent to the governor for amending the law,” a Congress lawmaker told reporters outside the council.
A three-member restructuring committee, set by the state government, under the chairmanship of former state chief secretary B.S. Patil has recommended dividing the BBMP into five corporations for better governance and effective administration, as the city expanded exponentially and has one crore citizens.
The century-oldABBMPAwas expanded in 2007 by including seven city municipal councils and one town municipal council and 111 surrounding villages to increase civic wards to 198 from 100 earlier.