BBMP ward in K.R. Puram Assembly Constituency votes tomorrow

Amid the rising political temperature over the May 5 Assembly elections in the State, the A. Narayanapura ward of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will go for bypoll tomorrow (Sunday). The ward is in the K.R. Puram Assembly Constituency.

There are six candidates in the fray for the ward, reserved for the Backward Classes (A) category.

With public campaigning concluding on Thursday evening, the candidates, accompanied by their respective supporters, were found going door-to-door seeking votes.

The aspirants

Of the six candidates, two are Independents — K. Kumar and H.S. Amanulla. The others are D.A. Gopal (Congress), C. Ramesh (CPI-M), Syed Bhaktiyar (JD-S) and G.A. Vijaya (BJP), the last being the wife of the former councillor S.S. Prasad, who was disqualified for faking his caste certificate, necessitating the bypoll. Ironically, even as the case against Mr. Prasad was being heard by the Karnataka High Court, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had chosen him to head the Standing Committee for Appeals.

Though the candidates are beating a path to voters’ doorsteps under the scorching sun, the residents of the ward have so far been cool to their rhetoric. Jagannath Naidu, resident of ITI Layout here, said the ward is dogged by several civic problems. “One elected representative will replace another. There will be little change on the ground,” he said sardonically.

No water, drainage

His son, Saravana Naidu, who works for a biscuit company, said: “We have been paying our taxes in the hope that this area sees some development. We have been waiting in vain, it seems. Even after all these years, we don’t have a full-fledged underground drainage system. Though there is a ground-level reservoir nearby, we still don’t get regular Cauvery water. Instead, we are forced to pay through our nose to private water suppliers.”

Srividya Pramod, also a resident of ITI Layout, pointing to the road, said: “The roads were dug up to lay pipelines. The trenches were covered, but the road [is all ploughed up]. Though pipelines have been laid, we hardly get water.”

Road washed away

A resident of Udayanagar, who didn’t want to be named, said though the code of conduct was in force, there were several “development works” that were being taken up in the ward.

“It seems that in view of the elections, both bypoll and Assembly, several works are being taken up in a hurry. However, there is no quality. The road that was asphalted just a fortnight ago has been washed away in the rain that lashed the city a few days ago.”

Uma Shankar (name changed), local resident, charged that sewage pipes were leaking and polluting the drinking water. “The only time we see elected representatives is during elections. They come begging for votes and later forget those who voted for them,” he said caustically.

Bribe charge

Residents alleged they were being offered anything between Rs. 500 to Rs. 3,000 for votes. They said parties were also offering money to go campaigning door-to-door.

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