The history of municipal governance of Bangalore dates back to 27 March 1862, when 9 leading citizens of the old city formed a Municipal Board under the Improvement of Towns Act of 1850. Similarly a Municipal Board was also formed in the newer Cantonment area.
The two boards were legalized in 1881, and functioned as two independent bodies called the Bangalore City Municipality and the Bangalore Civil and Military Station Municipality (Cantonment). The following year, half of the municipal councillors were permitted to be elected, property tax was introduced and greater powers were given over to police and local improvement.
In 1913 an honorary president was introduced to the Board and seven years later made an elected position. An appointed Municipal Commissioner was introduced in 1926 on the Cantonment board as the executive authority.
After Indian Independence, the two Municipal Boards were merged to form the Corporation of the City of Bangalore in 1949, under the Bangalore City Corporation Act. The corporation then consisted of 70 elected representatives and 50 electoral divisions and the office of Mayor introduced for the first time. The first elections were held in 1950.
The name of the council changed — first to Bangalore City Corporation (BCC) and then to Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP).
In 1991 the BMP expanded to include 87 wards and the number of wards increased to 100 in 1995. The council also included 40 additional members drawn from the parliament and state legislature.
In November 2006, the BMP Council was dissolved by the State Government upon the completion of its five year term. In January 2007, the Government of Karnataka issued a notification to merge 100 wards of the erstwhile Bangalore Mahanagara Palike with seven City Municipal Councils (CMC)s, one Town Municipal Council (TMC) and 111 villages around the city to form a single administrative area. The process was completed by April 2007 and the body was renamed ‘Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’ (Greater Bangalore Municipal Corporation).
A mayor and deputy mayor of the council are elected for a period of 1-year, though not by popular vote. The post of the mayor and deputy mayor are filled through a quota system to a Scheduled Castes and Tribes candidate or to an Other Backward Class female candidate from among the elected Councillors. However, in the absence of an elected body, the BBMP will run by an Administrator and a Commissioner, who are appointed by the State Government. The Additional Commissioner is a specially appointed IRS officer. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike is responsible for civic and infrastructural requirements of the city. It often works in conjunction with other civic bodies such as the Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure Development Task Force (ABIDe) and the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to design and implement civic and infrastructural projects.