Bengaluru: With Karnataka rebel MLAs from the JD(S) and Congress resigning and likely to support the BJP, it will not only benefit the saffron party in the state Assembly but also in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

With this development, senior corporators and those loyal to BJP MLAs R Ashoka and V Somanna are lobbying hard for the Bengaluru mayor’s post. Ashoka's follower and four-time corporator Padmanabha Reddy, former deputy mayor and Kumaraswamy Layout ward corporator L Srinivas are front runners.

Similarly, Lingayat strongman and former minister Somanna's supporter Umesh Shetty who was responsible for BJP's victory in Govindrajnagar Assembly is also in the race.

According to sources, even in this Assembly segment, the second-line leadership will be sacrificed as Somanna is contemplating to push Nagarbhavi corporator Mohan Kumar's name for mayor.

Ashoka is contemplating to make opposition party leader in the BBMP Padmanabha as mayor as he will be able to contain the growth of a rising Vokkaliga leader from his Assembly segment — Padmanabha Nagar at the same time can also have control over Bengaluru.

However, his follower Srinivas is confident of bagging the mayor post.

"I have been promised by Ashoka that I will be made mayor if the party comes to power.  In the last term, a Vokkaliga was not given a chance. The member representing Reddys, SCs, Kurubas and Brahmins was given a chance but not a Vokkaliga. This time the party should give due respect to Vokkaligas," said Srinivas.

Srinivas claimed that he stands a better chance as he is in the BJP from the beginning and Padmanabha is a migrant to the BJP and a not a senior. This apart, Srinivas had worked for Ashoka's victory for over four terms and also for late Ananth Kumar's victory as MP for five terms.