BBMP ward reservation loaded in favour of BJP MLAs and MPs, say Congress legislators

They have threatened to protest on Monday, alleging that wards have been redrawn and reserved at the behest of RSS

August 05, 2022 10:37 pm | Updated August 06, 2022 04:17 pm IST - Bengaluru

A majority of wards have been reserved for women candidates in constituencies held by the Opposition Congress MLAs, legislators alleged. 

A majority of wards have been reserved for women candidates in constituencies held by the Opposition Congress MLAs, legislators alleged.  | Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K

The Opposition Congress MLAs from Bengaluru on Friday lashed out at the BJP government for “glaring discrimination” in the reservation of 243 wards in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which they claimed was against the public interest and to the advantage of the BJP MLAs and MPs.

A majority of wards have been reserved for women candidates in constituencies held by the Opposition Congress MLAs. The Delimitation Committee has blatantly violated reservation guidelines while reserving wards, alleged Congress MLAs Ramalinga Reddy, Rizwan Arshad, B.Z. Zameer Ahmed, Krishna Byre Gowda, Dinesh Gundu Rao and MP D.K. Suresh.

To be challenged

Congress MLAs threatened to stage a protest in front of the Chief Minister’s residence on Monday if the notification was not withdrawn. The notification would be challenged in the court, they said.

Opposing the notification, Congress MLAs and party workers staged a protest in front of the Urban Development Department at Vikas Soudha and shouted slogans against the BJP government.

They alleged that wards have been redrawn and reserved for various categories at the behest of the office of Keshava Krupa, RSS Karnataka headquarters, BJP office, MPs and MLA offices of the BJP. They tried to paste a sign reading “RSS Office” by removing the name board of Urban Development at the Vikas Soudha. However, the police brought the situation under control.

The reservation of wards has been notified as per the directions of the Supreme Court order on July 28 under the Section 8(3) of the BBMP Act, 2020, and the guidelines issued by the Urban Development department, based 2011 Census.

Mr. Reddy said in his BTM Layout constituency, eight wards out of nine have been reserved for women. In Jayanagar constituency, five out of six wards have been reserved for women. In Gandhinagar, represented by Dinesh Gundu Rao, all seven wards have been reserved for women. In Chamarajpet represented by Mr. Ahmed, five out of six wards have been reserved for women.

Women’s reservation

A total of 87 wards come in the jurisdiction of Congress MLAs. Of them, 67 have been reserved for women. In one MLA constituency represented by a JD(S) MLA, nine out of 12 wards have been reserved for women.

Of 65 wards reserved for general category, 49 wards come under constituencies represented by BJP MLAs, Mr. Reddy alleged.

Mr. Arshad said wards have been demarcated haphazardly. While some have 19,000 voters, others have 45,000 voters in his Shivajinagar constituency. The number of wards have been reduced, he claimed.

Mr. Rao alleged that the notification on reservation was issued to deny victory of Congress candidates in the BBMP elections. “In my Gandhinagar constituency, all wards are reserved for women,” he said.

BJP is playing politics: AAP

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has decided to contest elections in all wards of BBMP, also alleged that the reservation list is politically motivated. 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.”

Meanwhile, the saffron party rejected all the allegations and said that the Congress was creating unnecessary confusion. The reservation list, it said, was prepared as per the law. “I have lost my seat due to reservation, as my ward Kacharakanahalli is now reserved for women from general category. If the reservation list is politically motivated, why should I lose my seat” former BJP councillor Padmanabha Reddy asked.

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