The Karnataka BJP unit is upbeat about wresting the posts of mayor and deputy mayor in the Kalaburagi City Corporation from the Congress.
The victory in the home turf of Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge has come as a much needed relief to the BJP, which has been battered by scam allegations and the resignation of some leaders.
The development has made the party leadership in the state to escape embarrassment during the visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. PM Modi is arriving in Karnataka on Saturday. Amit Shah is visiting Bengaluru on Friday and will again come back on March 26 to inaugurate the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at Gorata village in Bidar.
The results of Kalaburagi City Corporation were taken as a matter of prestige by the Opposition Congress and ruling BJP. The BJP MLC Baburao Chinchanasur, an influential leader of the Koli community from the Kalaburagi, had tendered resignation and joined the Congress. The development was adding to the woes of BJP after a series of leaders quit and joined the Congress.
The win at the Kalaburagi City Corporation has come at the right time for the BJP to send the right signals for the voters. Sources said that efforts of BJP MLA Dattatreya Patil Revura yielded the results.
The saffron party has captured the posts independently for the first time and came to power after 12 years. A total of 65 members participated in the voting on Thursday. BJP got 33 votes and registered the victory. The Congress managed to get 32 votes and lost by a single vote.
The Congress had 30 members and BJP had 34. JD(S) with four members was in the position of a kingmaker. JD(S) member Aleem Patel refrained from voting. AICC President Kharge, BJP MLC Lakshman Savadi also remained absent.
The mayoral polls were delayed by a year as the Congress approached the court objecting to the inclusion of names of BJP MLC’s in the voters list. The court gave a verdict to consider new voters as well.
Meanwhile, state Youth and Sports Minister Dr. M.C. Narayana Gowda, who was all set to join the Congress, has decided to stay put in the party after a discussion with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He also met former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. The developments have given a boost to the BJP camp in the state.