With just a month for left for Bengaluru Mayor G Padmavathi to complete her term, the lobbying for the coveted post has already begun. Two-time corporator Sampath Raj, from DJ Halli, who is a front runner this time, is almost sure of getting the coveted job. He considers his background of membership in the Youth Congress and his engineering degree from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology will bolster his position when the top Congress leaders hold a meeting by the end of this month.

Sampath is likely to face a challenge from L Govind Raju a three-time corporator from Subash Nagar. Sampath Raj has made his name familiar as he is often found with the likes of Power Minister DK Shivakumar, Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George and KPCC President Dr G Parameshwar and Urban Development Minister R Roshan Baig, Govind Raju is on good terms with the KPCC Working President Dinesh Gundu Rao.

"This time according to roster system, a Dalit has to be made Bengaluru Mayor, and I am one among the aspirants. I have come from the same background of Youth Congress  just like KPCC Working President Dinesh Gundu Rao, DK Shivakumar, KJ George and others  and hence hope the leaders will give me an opportunity to strengthen Congress in the city," he said

For Govind Raju, despite being a three-time corporator, the fact that he is a migrant from the JDS to the Congress in 2005 may go against his candidature. He represents the ward that falls under KPCC Working President Dinesh Gundu Rao, and this is the only way for him to make it to the top

"The decision is left to leaders to choose between Sampath and me. I respect the decision of my leaders," he said. When asked about the same to Power Minister DK Shivakumar, he said, still there is  time, and that they also have to consult the alliance partners in BBMP.

Minister KJ George said," It is true that these two leaders are in the race. As Bengaluru Development Minister I will also have to hold talks with other ministers and leaders before deciding on who will get the Mayor’s post," he said and added that in the last 20 years, leaders from Bengaluru  East region had not got the Mayor post and Sampath also comes from the same area.

Sources in the Congress and BBMP told Newsable, that Congress and JDS do not want to disturb the BBMP administration as assembly elections will be held in eight months and only by giving a clean administration in Bengaluru can they appeal to voters.

“ Bengaluru has 28 MLA seats, and BBMP administration will reflect on the MLA constituencies during the assembly elections. Hence the same formula is likely to continue where JDS corporators and independent corporators support  Congress and form the BBMP administration. But the majority of important post like standing committee chairmanship will go to JDS and Independents," said a source from the BBMP.

The ruling party in BBMP will be able to make the most as the palike has a budget outlay of over Rs 7,000 crores and the corporators in ruling can get a lion’s share to develop the ward and retain their seat.