In the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP’s) political space, which is dominated by the three major parties - BJP, Congress, JD(S), along with AAP, now two smaller parties, which consider themselves as a ‘political startup,’ are getting ready to contest in the upcoming civic body elections.
The Karnataka Rashtra Samiti (KRS) and the Bengaluru Nava Nirmana Party (BNP), which have already started groundwork, will be contesting the elections.
The KRS party, started by anti-corruption crusader Ravi Krishna Reddy in 2019, will go to the people on a promise to form a “corruption-free Bengaluru civic body.” Speaking to The Hindu, Deepak C.N., State principal secretary of KRS party, said: “The party has been working of the ground from the last couple of years and we have reached out to people of all wards. Many volunteers are joining the party in various parts of the city.”
The party has already decided on 60 candidates to be fielded in the upcoming polls out of 243 wards in the city. It has already formed an alliance with the Janata Dal (United) and the Welfare Party of India. “The party is readying its manifesto. Our main agenda is corruption-free governance,” Mr. Deepak said.
The BNP, started by a diverse set of individuals and considers itself the “world’s first city-centric party,” will only contest the BBMP elections. “We don’t have any ideology and we are only standing for the BBMP elections to focus on rebuilding Bengaluru. We are a unique political party centred only on Bengaluru,” Srikanth Narasimhan, general secretary, said.
BNP claims that the party is involved in ward-level grassroot governance. Citizen participation and active involvement are its key features. “All political parties indulge in corruption and so far, those in power at BBMP have created bad city governance. We will change it by involving the citizens in the administrative process,” Mr. Narasimhan added.
BBMP polls: BPAC trains 43 members in civic leadership programme
Citizen’s group Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) that aims to improve governance in Bengaluru has conducted training programmes to improve the quality of aspirants to the BBMP councillors’ posts for the upcoming polls.
Under the BPAC Civic Leadership Incubator Program (B.CLIP) initiative, it has trained 355 people from various political parties who are planning to contest BBMP elections from the last eight years, and this year, they have trained 43 people.
Speaking to The Hindu, Raghavendra H.S., B.CLIP Program Lead-B.PAC, said: “In the B.CLIP initiative, we select, train, and support talented individuals who wish to transform their city by contesting municipal corporation elections. By equipping candidates with skills in public policy analysis, municipal administration, political landscape, and election campaign dynamics, the incubator project creates a pipeline of candidates that BPAC and other civil society organisations find suitable to endorse for the future elections.”
Meanwhile, Janaagraha, another Bengaluru-based non-profit trust, plans to train the councillors on their roles, responsibilities, and how to bring change in the city by closely working with residents of their wards.
Srinivas Alavilli, Head of Civic Participation in Janaagraha, said: “Once the election is over and new councillors are elected, we, along with BBMP, will come up with Councillor Leadership Programme, a training programme for councillors to help them tackle challenges faced by residents.”