Munirathna: A ‘Villain’ Turned Ally
The problems the BJP has with Munirathna doesn’t end with this ideological difference. While he was a Congress MLA from Rajarajeshwari Nagar there were several incidents of him having problems with the local corporators from the BJP, with some alleging Munirathna did not allow them to work.
In 2017, three women corporators – Manjula Narayanaswamy, JD(S), Mamata Vasudev (BJP) and Asha Suresh (Congress) – protested in the well of the BBMP Council and threatened to attempt suicide by consuming floor cleaning liquid. They alleged harassment by Munirathna and his followers.
Just a year before that, Asha Suresh, representing HMT Ward, has tendered her resignation accusing Munirathna of malpractices. She complained that the MLA does not allow the BBMP engineers to work in her ward, and over the last three years, he has been arm-twisting BBMP officials in her ward.
“He doesn’t allow corporators from any party to undertake work, because he has vested interests. In the last election, senior Congress leaders had convinced the corporators to support him in the election and it helped. But this time, it would be difficult. Whether it’s Congress, BJP or JD(S), corporators who are influencers at the ground level don’t like Munirathna,” said a corporator on the condition of anonymity.
With resistance within the BJP and disgruntlement from BJP corporators, the BJP will have to work hard to get Munirathna elected again.