The Bharatiya Janata Party is planning a big Bengaluru push to launch its campaign for the upcoming civic polls and the 2023 Assembly polls, starting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city on Monday.
The Prime Minister will address a public rally at Kommaghatta after laying the foundation stone for the much-delayed ₹15,000 crore suburban rail project. The BJP has planned a grand welcome with a large number of workers in attendance after he lands at Yelahanka Air Force Base. Arun Singh, in-charge of BJP Karnataka, is scheduled to arrive in the city on Friday and stay here till the Prime Minister leaves the State. “Ahead of civic polls in the city, the Prime Minister is coming to lay the foundation stone for a mega infrastructure project and we will definitely make the best use of it,” a senior leader said.
The Supreme Court, on May 20, set a eight-week deadline for ward delimitation and reservation roster for Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to be completed and elections be held subsequently, setting the stage for the civic polls in August-September 2022. BBMP has already submitted a draft of the delimited wards.
Series of inaugurations
Since then, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who also holds charge of the city, has gone on a development project-inauguration spree in Assembly constituencies represented by BJP in the city.
In the last 10 days, Mr. Bommai has inaugurated a slew of development works in Govindaraj Nagar, R.R. Nagar and Chickpet constituencies. More such events, including the inauguration of the first phase of K-100, a reimagining of storm water drains in the city, are planned, sources said. “The plan is to project a development image for the government in the city and ensure the works are visible to the people. Most of the projects being inaugurated now are from the time of B.S. Yediyurappa and the Chief Minister is laying foundation stone for other new works as well,” a senior civic official said.
Rains and after
The havoc created by recent rains in the city has left a bad taste in the mouth of the citizens and the pathetic condition of roads became a talking point in cyberspace too. To make a course correction in this image, the party has decided to push for a development agenda for the city, sources said. The Chief Minister was very keen and pushed the filling of potholes and remaking roads on a war footing, as a first step, senior civic officials said. Laying the foundation stone for the much delayed mega infra-project suburban rail by Mr. Modi is part of the same campaign, officials close to the Chief Minister said.
At multiple events in the city over the last 10 days, the Chief Minister has been talking of a vision document to decongest Bengaluru, to improve connectivity with mega-infra projects of suburban rail and peripheral ring road and spending ₹1,600 crore to redo storm water drains to prevent flooding. He has also announced a slew of welfare schemes like restarting “onti mane” scheme, government providing bank guarantee for beneficiaries of housing schemes and implementing Akrama-Sakrama, with an aim to woo the poorer sections, sources said.