BJP's Gautam Kumar was elected the mayor of Bengaluru on Tuesday in the latest fallout of the collapse of the Congress-Janata Dal Secular (JDS) government in Karnataka earlier this year. Gautam Kumar defeated the Congress candidate with 17 votes.
The elections began just before noon at the city corporation headquarters, and the results were declared around 1 pm.
Besides councillors, MPs, MLAs and MLCs who represent seats in the Bengaluru city limits were eligible to cast their votes in favour of the mayoral candidates.
A coalition of the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular had held on to the posts of mayor and deputy mayor for the last four years through a corporation-level alliance that pre-dates the wider one formed between the two parties after the 2018 assembly elections. Due to this agreement, the BJP was unable to gain control of the corporation despite commanding greater numbers than either opposition party.
While the previous mayor's post was held by the Congress, the deputy mayor's position had gone to the Janata Dal Secular. However, with several former coalition MLAs getting disqualified for their role in bringing down the former HD Kumaraswamy government in July, things worked out differently this time.
BJP's Gautam Kumar was up against Congress's Satyanarayana. The JDS only contested the deputy mayor post. Mr Kumar won with 129 votes.
The mayor's term is only for one year, which many believe is barely enough to address the various civic issues faced by Bengaluru. The Karnataka capital, which has an estimated population of around 11 million, is bogged down by heavy traffic, poor roads, polluted lakes and a poor garbage management system.