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Manjunath Reddy is Bengaluru Mayor

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Madiwala Ward Councillor B N Manjunath Reddy of the Congress was elected Bengaluru’s 49th Mayor, while Vrushabhavathi Nagar Ward Councillor S P Hemalatha of the JD(S) was elected 50th Deputy Mayor on Friday as the Congress and JDS joined hands to wrest power of the city civic corporation from the BJP.
The total strength of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike  Council is 260, including MPs, MLAs and MLCs. Despite winning 100 out of 198 wards, the BJP could not muster the magic 131 number, which the Congress-JD(S) coalition could do with the support of independents.
Manjunath Reddy and Hemalatha won with 131 votes in their favour. The BJP candidates for mayor and deputy mayor posts, Manjunatha Raju and HC Nagarathna, respectively, polled 128 votes. The election process was chaired by Bengaluru division Regional Commissioner V Manjula. Of the total 260 voters in the electoral college, only Rajya Sabha member Vijay Mallya was absent.
Seven Independents, Rajya Sabha member B Jayashree (nominated) and MLC Raghu Achar (Independent) supported the Congress-JD(S) candidates. Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrashekar and MLC D U Mallikarjuna (both Independents) supported BJP.
Addressing the press along with his deputy, Mayor Manjunath Reddy said that his top priority will be to improve the BBMP’s financial condition as it had worsened due to  misgovernance of the previous administration. Priority will be given to address traffic congestion in the city, he said.
In the last eight months, the State government has taken initiatives to tackle garbage crisis, he said and added that two more waste processing units will be ready soon. On unauthorised hoardings, he said measures will be taken to clear them and slap fine against those who put up illegal hoardings in the city.
Deputy Mayor Hemalatha said that even though I am a first time Corporator, I have been into active politics for the past many years supporting my husband. She assured safety for women by getting installed CCTV cameras at strategic locations so that no crime takes place.
Manjunath Reddy, 52, is a three-time corporator from the Madiwala ward. Reddy was the Leader of the Opposition in the previous council. He is one of the senior-most members of the council, as he first became a councillor in 1991.
Hemalatha, 41, a debutant corporator from Vrushabhavathi Nagar ward, is the wife of JD(S) MLA Gopalaiah.
Their election, however, is subject to the outcome of a petition being heard by the Karnataka High Court, filed by five BJP woman corporators challenging the voting rights of MPs, MLAs and MLCs in mayoral elections.
The five new corporators from the BJP had approached the High Court challenging Section 7 and 10. BJP women corporators – M Pramila, R Pratima, Deepa Nagesh, Umavati Padmaraj and Kumari Palanikant – in their petition to the High Court said that only those who contest the elections for mayor must be allowed to vote and not MLAs, MLCs and MPs.
The court is expected to spell out its verdict on September 29.

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