Amid unhappiness about the notification of the delimitation and reservation for new wards, various political parties have started to prepare for the upcoming civic body polls, while the Congress may choose to go for a legal fight against the BJP-led State government’s approval of the delimitation.
Speaking to The Hindu, former Congress councillor in the BBMP council Abdul Wajid said: “Despite several objections by the general public on the reservation of wards, the BJP government has not changed or updated anything, but approved it.”
According to Mr. Wajid, the party will hold a protest against Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai outside his residence on Thursday.
The Karnataka government on Tuesday night notified the ward-wise reservation for 243 wards of BBMP. The Urban Development Department (UDD) notified the final notification after reviewing the objections received from the general public and making suitable recommendations, according to the notification.
Meanwhile, the BJP has started preparing for the election by forming a 12-member selection committee headed by party State president Nalin Kumar Kateel to finalise the candidates for the BBMP polls. N.R. Ramesh, Bengaluru South District president, BJP, said: “Our party is very serious about the election and have started preparing for it. We have done everything legally. The Opposition parties fear losing the elections, hence, they are creating confusion.”
“BJP general secretary and State in-charge Arun Singh has held a meeting with the party leaders regarding the BBMP polls and it is decided that 50% of candidates will be grassroot party workers from the city,” Mr. Ramesh added.
The State government has reserved 33% of the 243 constituencies in the city for OBC and 13% for SC and ST.
AAP in the fray
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has decided to contest elections in all wards of BBMP, is also preparing for the polls while opposing the reservation of wards by state governments. Speaking to The Hindu, AAP Karnataka State Secretary, Shanthala Damle said, “The latest ward reservation list clearly shows that the BJP is playing politics and wants to gain out of it. The list is politically motivated to take the BJP to a comfortable win, but we will fight elections based on the issues the city is facing rather than caste and money politics. We have no other political intentions other than going in front of people with the solution to the problem they face every day in the city.”
Srikanth Narasimhan, Founder and General Secretary, of Bengaluru NavaNirmana Party, said, “Bengaluru NavaNirmana Party (BNP) is extremely happy that the State Government has finally notified the Delimitation and Reservation for new wards. I am confident that the State Election Commission will move quickly and conduct the elections without any further delay. The delay in holding the BBMP Elections is a significant blot on constitutional principles. An elected BBMP council is extremely important to deliver good governance to Bengaluru, which has borne the brunt of the lack of development over the last two years.”
The Karnataka government declared a ward-wise reservations draft on August 3 for BBMP to facilitate the long-delayed polls. The number of BBMP council seats was increased from 198 to 243 following a recent delimitation exercise of wards based on their population by the State government.
The State government, in June 2022, promulgated an ordinance to facilitate the reservation of one-third of the seats in the BBMP council for candidates from OBC to facilitate BBMP elections which were pending since August 2020. The ordinance also restricts the total number of reserved seats to 50%.