Bengaluru

Another polls but infrastructure nightmares yet to be banished

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Congress and BJP have both promised hassle-free traffic

The most enduring image in the long-drawn disqualification saga of 17 Congress and JD(S) legislators in Karnataka is one of two-time MLA Byrathi Basavaraj sprinting to the office of the then Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar to submit his resignation letter.

Now fielded by the BJP, a party that he helped bring to power, Mr. Basavaraj is locked in the bypoll battle with M. Narayanswamy of the Congress, who is an MLC.

The bounty

Keeping an eye on the byelections, the B.S. Yediyurappa government allocated ₹625 crore to K.R. Puram constituency two months ago. The party’s candidate is also armed with assets worth ₹93.44 crore, including a fleet of luxury cars.

As four Congress councillors (now expelled from the party) have expressed their loyalty to Mr. Basavaraj, the disqualified legislator seems to be gaining an upper hand over rival candidates.

Poornima K., MLA for Hiriyur from the BJP and K.R. Puram ward councillor,have backed Mr. Basavaraj. Moreover, the former BJP MLA Nandish Reddy, who initially showed his resentment to the new entrant being fielded, is now rallying behind the party candidate. Mr. Reddy was made the chairman of the BMTC. Revenue Minister R. Ashok has described the duo as “Basava-Nandi” for the development of K.R. Puram. Mr. Basavaraj belongs to the Kuruba community, while Mr. Narayanaswamy hails from the Vokkaliga community. Both have a sizeable number of voters here.

Mr. Narayanaswamy has been banking on the support of his community, and minority linguistic groups. Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, have been campaigning for him. The Congress is asking voters not to trust Mr. Basavaraj as he had already “back-stabbed” the party by switching sides. C. Krishnamurthy is the JD(S) candidate, but the party has no major vote bank in the constituency and it had bagged mere 2.59% votes in the 2018 election. The constituency had voted the Congress in 2013 and 2018 elections.

This constituency in Bengaluru north-east is a traffic nightmare because of the constant flow of vehicles proceeding towards Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, particularly to Tirupati, and its connectivity to the Outer Ring Road and the Old Madras Road. Construction of metro rail and pothole-ridden roads have further worsened the traffic condition, forcing daily commuters to spend several hours on the road. The constituency’s problems are increasing every day owing to its proximity to the IT hub.

The Congress and BJP candidates have been luring voters with catchy slogans and a bundle of promises such as hassle-free traffic, clean parks, good market, good footpaths, and 24x7 water supply.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 12:25:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/another-polls-but-infrastructure-nightmares-yet-to-be-banished/article30109927.ece

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