Home minister R Ashoka had a hard day on Thursday at the BBMP headquarters, dealing with his own party corporators and MLAs.
He failed to bring about a consensus among the corporators while selecting chairpersons for 12 standing committees. Most BJP corporators were demanding cash-rich committees and had the backing of MLAs.
Regional commissioner Shambhu Dayal Meena announced the election of members for the standing committees at 11 am on Thursday. However, due to hectic lobbying by the BJP corporators, the party could manage to select only 11 members for the taxation and finance committee.
The lobbying for posts in plum committees has been going on for the past one week and Ashoka was hoping to resolve the issue on Thursday. To his surprise, he found that the corporators were in no mood to listen to him and outrightly rejected the list prepared by the party. They also had the backing of some MLAs.
The home minister had a series of meetings with corporators, Mahadevapura MLA Aravind Limbavali, Hebbal MLA Kattasubramanya Naidu, CV Raman Nagar MLA S Raghu, Jayanagar MLA BN Vijaykumar, KR Puram MLA NS Nandish Reddy and others, but none of them were willing to listen to him.
One of the major issues was selection of the chairman for standing committee for health. Ashoka had trouble persuading Rajarajeshwarinagar MLA M Srinivas, who was keen to have his son and Kottigepalya ward corporator S Venkatesh Babu selected for the post.
The party had already selected Aramane Nagar ward corporator Dr MS Shivaprasad for the post, as he is a practising doctor. Heated arguments ensued between them and later a furious Srinivas walked out of the meeting.
A senior woman corporator too rejected Ashoka’s proposal to agree to heading the Market Committee. “Anna, I don’t want to become chairman for market. If you can give me good committee, I will accept or else I don’t want any committee,” she said and walked out of the meeting.
At one time, the perplexed minister himself came out of the meeting, unable to convince his partymen and colleagues. He was seen running from one hall to another, discussing the list with senior party leaders. But even till afternoon he could not finalise it.
A BBMP source said that it is disgraceful that a party leader couldn’t convince the corporators.
“It is the second huge blow to the home minister. Firstly he failed in selecting his candidate as mayor. Now the corporators are against him. He would have allowed senior corporators from his party to decide on selecting the chairpersons, instead of doing it himself,” the source said.
Being unable to come with an amicable solution, an exhausted Ashoka left BBMP office, along with his close MLAs, for party office.
While leaving, he said, “We couldn’t come to a conclusion over the selection of chairman for town planning. There were some differences among the corporators, which will be resolved.”
Meena announced a list of 11 names for the Taxation and Finance committee. Munendra Kumar (Jakkuru), Tejaswini N Raju (Horamavu), V Anand (Ganganagar), Muniswamy Gowda (Mattikere), Noor Jahan Shariff (Kushalnagar), Gayatri Jayaraye Gowda (Doddabidarkallu), K. Poornima (Basavanapura), Queen Elizabeth (Okalipuram), Umesh Shetty (Nagarbhavi), Gangambike (Jayanagar) and H Suresh (Kumaraswamy Layout) were elected unopposed. Sources said that Munendre Kumar is likely to be elected as chairman.
With no consensus arrived at, the BJP along with Congress and Janata Dal (S) directed the corporators to not to enter the council hall. After lunch, when the election resumed for the remaining 11 standing committees, ruling party leader Nanjundappa, opposition leader M Udayshankar and JD(S) floor leader Thimme Gowda were present at the council hall.
Meena called for nominations for Public Health standing committee. But with no corporators around, he postponed the election to Friday.