For about a month now, the Karnataka BJP had been loudly announcing that the next Mayor of Bengaluru city will be a BJP candidate.

 

However, suddenly, such notices have vanished. Currently, the party line is that the BJP will 'observe' what the Congress and JD(S) plan and take its next step accordingly. In a way, the BJP seems to be indirectly declaring that it will not contest in the Mayor and Deputy Mayor elections. 

 

The primary factor in this decision is the continuing Congress-JD(S) alliance in the BBMP. The two parties, which came together last year to steal what seemed like an assured victory from the BJP, have only gotten closer thanks to the recent Cauvery row. The BJP, perhaps politically unwisely, choose to keep aloof from the all-party meet on the issue, further diminishing their favorability among voters. 

 

And while at least in the city perhaps the BJP may go for an alliance with the JD(S), their experience with the party has not been a good one. Many BJP leaders feel that the JD(S) is an unpredictable ally which may abandon its promises at any time. In the year 2008, the BJP had a bitter experience of this unpredictability when its alliance with the JD(S) in the state government was abruptly yanked out from under it.

 

However, with or without the alliance, the BJP is on a sticky wicket in the city. Take the ongoing encroachment clearance drive for example. The BBMP has been vigorously conducting its encroachment clearance operations with the full backing of the Siddaramaiah led Congress state government and the Mayor's office in the city. The BJP has opposed this drive. But should the BJP win, the fallout of the drive - a.k.a aggrieved citizens - will land on the BJP's plate head on. 

 

There are several other similar issues - the possible water scarcity in the coming few months, the ongoing garbage collection crisis, the financial insolvency of the BBMP etc, which make the BBMP an unattractive proposition currently.

 

The Mayoral elections had held yearly in any case. So perhaps the BJP feel - better luck next time.