Mangaluru, Jan 05, 2018: Ruling Congress in Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) faces problems of plenty when election to the post of Mayor and deputy Mayor is held in March 10.
With the state government finally announcing reservation matrix for posts of mayor and their deputies in 11 ULBs in the state including MCC, Congress has to contend with the fact that both posts are reserved for general category, making all their 35 corporators eligible to stake a claim for either post.
Congress as part of ensuring social justice has so far chosen a Bunt (Mahabala Marla), Christian (Jacintha Vijay Alfred), Jogi-backward class (Harinath) and Billava (Kavitha Sanil) as mayors for the first four terms on one year each. With this being the fifth and final year of the current council, the choice of next mayor could send out signals to electorate as the civic body gears up for polls in anytime in early 2019 or at a time the government then in power might decide.
A thought process in the Congress is swaying between considering a Muslim corporator for the post of Mayor for this is the only community that is not represented in the list of Mayors during the current five year term or going for a candidate from a dominant community. Both Mahabala Marla and M Shashidhar Hegde, chief whip of ruling Congress and points man of district minister B Ramanath Rai in MCC council, confirmed this line of thinking in the party.
Admitting that it is too premature to zero in on a potential mayoral candidate given that Congress has always selected its candidate at the proverbial last moment, Shashidhar Hegde told media that if one goes by seniority Bhasker K should be the logical choice. But if the party were to consider factoring in representation for a Muslim as Mayor, K Mahammad and Abdul Raouf are the frontrunners, he said, adding party leadership will consider all these factors