BS Yediyurappa postpones Bengaluru mayor poll, overruled by IAS officer
Harsh Gupta, regional commissioner of the Bengaluru Division, who is in charge of holding the polls, said that he had decided to go ahead with elections for the mayor and deputy mayor posts.Updated: Oct 01, 2019 09:16 IST
Chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday postponed Tuesday’s elections to the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Bengaluru only to be overruled by the regional commissioner of Bengaluru Division, who has chosen instead to go ahead with the polls as per schedule.
Addressing reporters at Shikaripura, which is his constituency, Yediyurappa said: “The High Court has postponed elections to [eight] standing committees in the [Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the civic body]. Similarly, I have ordered that the mayoral elections should be held along with that. The mayoral election will not be held for the month-and-a-half.”
Yediyurappa was referring to a petition challenging elections to eight of the 12 committees in the BBMP.
However, Harsh Gupta, regional commissioner of the Bengaluru Division, who is in charge of holding the polls, said that he had decided to go ahead with elections for the mayor and deputy mayor posts, apart from the four committees that were not part of the High Court petition.
“We had received a letter from the Urban Development Department that we should take necessary action… to postpone,” Gupta said. “We replied that we are going ahead as per the law. Therefore, we are already addressing the concerns. So, in this regard there is no need to postpone the election,” he said.
Gupta clarified that the matter pending before the High Court involved eight of 12 standing committees. Hence, elections will be held for the remaining standing committees and the posts of mayor and deputy mayor.
The mayoral elections have assumed importance as the BJP is set to win after a gap of four years. Though it had won the highest number of wards in the BBMP elections in 2016, it was pipped to the mayoral post thanks to a coalition of the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular). This alliance is no more in place, paving the way for the BJP to win the polls. Therefore, the decision to delay the polls had caused confusion in the BJP.
Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao said Gupta was right and that the party would have approached courts if the elections had been postponed. “One cannot postpone these elections as per the whims and fancies of the chief minister. This is yet more evidence that this government is failing and decisions are being made arbitrarily,” he said.