It may have been the turf of the former BWSSB Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu, yet Hebbal is one of the most parched constituencies in the city. Deprived of regular Cauvery supply, residents here are mostly dependent on groundwater and private tankers.
Real estate hub
Carved out of Yelahanka and Jayamahal constituencies following the delimitation process in 2008, Hebbal is a prize catch for any party as it is on the way to being the next real estate hub. Hebbal, which was known to be the north endpoint of the city, is now the highway to the airport and huge tracts of agricultural land have been acquired from farmers by major builders for housing projects. Land prices here have skyrocketed in the last five years.
The constituency includes two major extensions of Sanjaynagar and R.T. Nagar apart from three big slums — Chamundinagar, Kousarnagar and Matadahalli. Eight wards, — Radhakrishna Temple, Sanjaynagar, Gangenahalli, Ganganagar, Hebbal, Vishwanatha Nagenahalli, Manorayanapalya and Jayachamarajendra Nagar — which are part of this constituency, have several underdeveloped pockets. “Although the constituency houses influential politicians, senior government officials, judges and other reputed personalities, there are slums such as Pappanna Huts, Vasanthappa Block and Dalit colonies in Shakti Nagar, Guddadahalli and Geddalahalli that resemble villages and whose residents are deprived of all basic amenities.
However, the great equaliser is water shortage that bothers both posh localities as well as slums.
The 2008 elections were controversial here because of names missing from the voters’ list. Chamundinagar resident Mohammed Yunus recalled many were denied the right to exercise their franchise as the BJP allegedly used all tricks in the book to keep nearly 25,000 of the 45,000 minority community voters out. “If the identity cards of some Muslim voters were purchased for a sum, nearly 5,000 voters were packed off on a pilgrimage to Ajmer. This apart, several names had been deliberately deleted,” Mr. Yunus charged.
Too many takers
Of the 2.9 lakh voter population, the 45,000 Muslim voters and 15,000 Kuruba voters are the deciding factor. This constituency is crucial for all the political parties as at least two serious contenders from each aspire to contest from here.
The Janata Dal (Secular) has fielded Abdul Azeem as its official candidate, who is banking on his professional background. The Congress has fielded former MP C.K. Jaffer Sharief’s grandson, Rahman Sharief, while the BJP has fielded Jagadish Kumar, a close aide of Mr. Katta Subramanya Naidu.