Poll battlefield gets more candidates, while AAP hosts dinner party

The past week has certainly set the tempo for the oncoming Lok Sabha Elections in Bengaluru. A frenzy of sop announcements, inaugurations, stone-laying, flagging off activities were seen just days prior to the announcement of dates for the elections when the Model Code of Conduct would be enforced.

The elections were announced on the March 5th. About 72.62 lakh Bangaloreans will get to vote on April 17th. Notifications for filing nominations for the 28 constituencies in the state will be announced on March 19.

Accounting of expenditure incurred by the candidate for poll expenses will be tabulated from the day the candidate files the nomination papers with the returning officer. An election expenses monitoring mechanism is being set up by the EC to ensure the candidate does not spend more than the prescribed amount in the run up to the elections. While the ceiling for a candidate is 70 lakhs, there is no upper limit for political parties. The District Election Commissioner (DEO) announced that various committees were set up to ensure smooth and fair polling. These included those for voter awareness and registration, expenditure monitoring and surrender of licenced arms and ammunition. It was also announced that 1400 vehicles would be needed for election duty.

The Election Commission also announced a voter registration camp on March 9th that saw three lakh voters enrol and many more verifying their details at their voting booths. There were also cases where citizens faced the usual hurdles due to inadequate arrangements by BBMP and glitches with the online registration. The EC announced that the citizens can enrol their names till March 16th by submitting the requisite forms at their polling station, BangaloreOne centres, jurisdictional offices of the Assistant Revenue Officer or ward offices.

The EC also began preventive measures like directing police personnel to round up anti-social elements, collecting required information and fingerprints before releasing them. Assault weapons and vehicles were also confiscated from these history sheeters.

Know your MP candidates in advance

The positive aspect of having a few weeks in between the election announcement and the poll date is that the electorate has sufficient time to make an informed choice, be it through media or door-to-door candidate campaigns.

Parties have been taking their time to announce their candidates for the city. While some parties are banking on old ‘tried and tested’ candidates, some parties are still hunting for the  “winnable” candidates. The hesitation could also be because they want to know who the other candidates are in order to put up a good match! Here are the list of candidates announced so far.

Constituency

INC

BJP

AAP

JD(S)

SP

Bangalore South

Nandan Nilekani

Ananth Kumar

Nina P Nayak

 

Ravi Kumar T Yadav

Bangalore North

C Narayanaswamy (won primaries)

D V Sadananda Gowda

Babu Mathew

   

Bangalore Central

Rizwan Arshad

P C Mohan

V Balakrishnan

   

Bangalore Rural (includes assembly constituencies of Bangalore South and Rajarajeshwari Nagar)

 

P. Muniraju Gowda

Ravikrishna Reddy

Prabhakara Reddy

 

Chikballapur

(includes assembly constituency of Yelahanka)

Veerappa Moily

B N Bachegowda

K Arkesh

 

Sunil Kumar R

Party plans Potpourri  

Aam Aadmi Party has planned for Arvind Kejriwal’s roadshow and public rallies on 15th March and 16th March respectively. This would be AAPs first show of strength and kickstart of campaigning in the city. The roadshow ‘Arvind at your doorsteps’  / ‘Jhadu Chalao Yaatras’ will cover all 28 assembly constituencies in Bangalore. They are also hosting a fundraising dinner in Bangalore this weekend and about 300 guests have already signed up for the occasion.

BJP’s Ananth Kumar in an interview lists out what he has done for the city in his Five terms. It includes all the city’s major development projects, from getting approval for the KGIAL to sanctioning the Bangalore Metro and Cauvery Stage IV.

Congress candidate Nandan Nilekani whose campaign began even before he became a Congress member formally, says that after working in the public sector he realised lasting change can only be through politics and hence his decision to contest. In another interview he talks about being a part of the change that the Congress is bringing in.

This Citizen Matter’s article gives an account of a typical day out meeting his electorate in person. Nandan Nilekani’s online presence has caught the attention of the online crowd. Some called his social media campaigning spamming and stalking but others felt it was the right strategy for the IT Capital of the country. From ads on every webpage to YouTube videos, he has attempted to reach out to his electorate, albeit one section of them. In the absence of other Congress candidates to speak about their plans, CM Siddaramaiah in an interview says he is hopeful that the party will win 18-20 seats.

Party PotShots

Parties always make a media impact by pointing out shortcomings of rival parties than by informing the electorate about their own achievements. At election times this behaviour is at its peak, in many cases it helps the EC to keep tabs on the parties and their adherence to the Model Code of Conduct.

BJPs spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said they would complain to the EC about Arvind Kejriwal’s fundraising dinner, more so because the EC said distribution of NaMo tea was in violation with the MCC. She demanded an explanation from the EC on the issue. However, Prithvi Reddy, Karnataka head of Aam Aadmi Party explained Citizen Matters that the dinner was perfectly legal and within the limits of restrictions by the Election Commission.

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About Josephine Joseph 46 Articles
Josephine Joseph researches and writes on urban governance, civic and environmental issues in Bangalore City, from a 'citizen' point of view.

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