A political party which has an edge over its rivals in Bangalore can get to the seat of power
The State capital, Bangalore, like the manner in which it has shot into prominence thanks to its enviable position in the information technology sector, has also emerged as an important region for political parties given the large number of Legislative Assembly constituencies. The influx of migrants from across the country over the past two decades has given a new dimension to the city’s electoral politics.
A political party which has an edge over its rivals in Bangalore could thus get to the seat of power with ease and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) proved that well in the last Assembly elections when it won 17 of the 28 seats in Bangalore. Most of these BJP legislators were new entrants to politics or to the party. They included Shobha Karandlaje, who was elected from Yeshwantpur. She has now changed sides and is contesting on a Karnataka Janata Paksha ticket from the Rajajinagar Assembly constituency which adjoins Yeshwantpur.
If the constituencies in the newly carved districts of Chickballapur and Ramanagaram, which adjoin Bangalore, apart from those in Bangalore Rural and parts of Tumkur districts are added to this, the number of Legislative Assembly constituencies in the region add up to 56 out of the total 224 in the State. Hence, any political party which can sway Bangaloreans has a good chance of making it to the Vidhana Soudha.
Bangalore got its new status because the Delimitation Commission carved out new constituencies. Its report was first implemented a few months ahead of the May 2008 Legislative Assembly elections in the State.
The total number of Assembly constituencies shot up to 28 from the earlier 16. Seven constituencies were carved out of Uttarahalli alone, which earlier covered a vast geographical area and had an electorate of over 13 lakh.
The new constituencies included Bangalore South, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Yeshwantpur, Dasarahalli and Padmanabhanagar.
While the total number of reserved constituencies in the State has shot up to 51, Bangalore alone has four of them —Mahadevapura, C.V. Raman Nagar, Anekal and Pulakeshinagar — all reserved for the Scheduled Castes. Hitherto, Shantinagar was the only reserved constituency in Bangalore.
Money siphoned off?
No wonder then the Bharatiya Janata Party government, which is in power in the State, has in recent months granted special funds for a variety of development projects in Bangalore though the latest charge doing the rounds is that the money has allegedly been siphoned off for electioneering expenditure.
The Congress has realised the importance of Bangalore and its adjoining regions and has planned a high-voltage campaign with AICC president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh slated to participate. It has also unleashed celebrity power, with actors Chiranjeevi, Darshan, Ramya and Bhavana to woo voters.