Source: The NewIndian Express
As the day to elect the Belgaum Mayor is fast approaching, the corporators who were cooling their heels for the last five months after winning the polls, are active again. If observed the present political scenario, the group of corporators led by Kannada group may sit on the driver’s seat to drive the Corporation bus.Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) has failed to gather the Marathi linguistic corporators under one roof and has adopted ‘wait and watch’ policy which indicates its helplessness.Even though the number of seats won by MES, non-MES Marathi linguistics, Kannada and Urdu groups are equal, non-Marathi factions has upper hand to rule the BCC as it has an extra vote of MP Suresh Angadi.MES has won 11 seats, Marathi linguistics 16, Kannada including Sambhajirao Patil and two of his supporters has 21 seats and eight corporators belong to the Urdu group.Urdu group, who will play a decision making role in holding power, had played a little political gimmick in the beginning to establish its importance. After the election, they had extended their support to Kannada group and announced its solidarity with the Kannada group. However, later, they decided to remain independent and kept their options open to back any faction that will support an Urdu candidate for the Mayor’s post.This decision by the Urdu group gave MES a re-birth, who made a vain bid to attract the Urdu group. However, the Urdu candidates refused to go with the MES and decided to remain with the Kannada group. It was decided that a Kannada corporator will be the Mayor, while an Urdu candidate will enjoy the powers of Deputy Mayor.It was also decided to keep four-time mayor Sambhajirao Patil away from the decision making process. Patil, who played vital role in electing mayors in previous terms, will now stay away from the mayoral activity.Even though it is an insult to Patil, he has no other option but to accept the Kannada group’s decision.According to latest developments, the Kannada candidates have suggested the names of Jyoti Bhavikatti and Shanta Uppar for the Mayor’s post. Jyoti is the favourate as Shanta was one of the six corporators who had cast their votes in favour of former mayor Vijay More in the last election. If things go according to the plan, Belgaum city will get second Kannada and Urdu linguistics mayor and deputy mayor. Siddangouda Patil and Nisarahmed Sanadi were the first Kannada and Urdu mayor and deputy mayor, respectively.Manda Balekundri, Latha Patil, Renu Killekar, Neelima Pawase, Anita Kitwadkar and Aruna Kutre are interested to contest for the mayor’s post from the MES camp.