Our first report in this weekly series captures a hectic election week marking the changing face of political campaigning in Bangalore. There are also reports about a police inspector running away fearing a raid and the return of the dog menace, and a scoop of other stories.
Thursday (May 1)
People from all parts of the country live in the Bommanahalli assembly constituency in south Bangalore. Due to IT, BT and BPO companies, non-Kannada speakers are more in this constituency. Candidates campaigning here are forced to speak in other languages to attract voters.
Candidates seeking votes are made to wait for more than 15 minutes in many homes, in Padmanabhanagar, Jayanagar, and other similar localities which predominantly have higher class people. In the case of apartments, the duration is about half an hour. Rich people are making a mockery of candidates, who have to swallow these bitter pills for the votes.
The martyr pillar built in Mysore Bank circle on K G Road (1 km from Majestic) was installed in 1972 by the state’s Archeology Department in memory of martyrs who died in firing during Quit India Movement. But a temple has come up in this place, thus making pillar crying for recognition. The pillar is in a sorry state of affairs now.
With elections shortly, a devotional approach is on the rise among all political parties. As a result more poojas are performed in city temples and priests are minting money from the politicians. In addition to this, more and more offerings like Satyanarayana pooja are taking place in disguise of public ceremonies.
Friday, May 2
Maya Bazaar, in Shantinagar constituency, is an unsual name for a slum. Its residents are also known for unique decisions. The 93-year-old slum has about six thousand voters. They take a collective decision to support a single party in every election. They keep on changing their decision according to the support they get from a particular party in overcoming their problems.
Saturday, 3 May
Many intelligent voters in Bangalore city don’t know which constituency their areas belong to. The delimitation process has resulted in this confusion. More over constituencies born under a new name do not have that area itself. For example, Yashwanthpur and Chikpet.
The pace of work on the Bangalore-Nelamangala Highway has been slow. More than 30 thousand vehicles pass on this road every hour. Road widening works which began a year ago is not completed. Traffic jams are common irrespective of time.
Sunday, 04 May
A forum of retired vice-chancellors will come into existence in Bangalore. This is first of its kind in India. Forum will include retired VCs of all universities in Karnataka. The forum will put forward the causes of improving higher education.
Monday, 05 May
After a short relief, stray dogs have returned to haunt the city public. The BBMP is making a futile attempt to control dogs. Animal welfare activists continue to oppose killing dogs. An interview with a dog breeder called ‘nayi raja’ C Ramakrishna.
Tuesday, 06 May
The Information Technology-effect in Bangalore has come to the political parties also. Some of candidates have floated their own websites. BJPs Aravinda Limbavali (Mahadevapura), Congress’ Gurappa Naidu (Padmanabhanagar) and Krishna Byregowda (Byatarayanapura) have instituted personal websites. The sites have information on candidates, constituency and their assurances. Websites: www.bjparavind.com, www.drgurappanaidu.com
Though the Delhi-based AYUSH Directorate had banned nourishing baby oil produced by a firm called ‘Himalaya’ for its paraffin content, it is not implemented effectively. The banned oil is freely available at the shops in the city as well as all over the state.
To get more acquaintance with voters, candidates in Bangalore are financing funerals also. They make it a point to attend most of the funerals and offer flowers to the body. Through this they intend to get public sympathy. Ex-minister V Somanna had started this tradition when he got elected to assembly for the first time.
A story on Seva Sandhya, an old age home. Apart from providing shelter to the senior citizens, it has consultancy services also. Institution has free dialysis unit, lab with all amenities. Address: Nivaran, No. 446, Mount Joy Road, Hanumanthanagar, Bangalore 19. Phone: 080- 2662 6979, 98445 42203.
Wednesday, 07 May
The police inspector of Mahalaxmi Layout police station in north Bangalore ran away from the station fearing a raid by Lokayukta sleuths. The latter then arrested a head constable in connection with a graft charges. The inspector had demanded Rs.10000 to find a solution to a family dispute.
Education experts are trying to find out the reasons for the the declining trend in SSLC exam results. Poverty is not the issue when it comes to education in cities. The story has some examples of students with poor background doing well in the SSLC exams. There is a mention of special night classes conducted by teachers for the poor students in Police Colony in Magadi road. The government school in this region has registered 89 percent of result.
Thursday, 08 May
Only Independent candidates are following election code of conduct. The report introduced a few independent candidates G S Kumar is contesting in Dasarahalli constituency. Kumar has even fought with former prime minister H D Devegowda in the Kanakapura constituency and received 15,000 votes. B G Arun Kumar is another Independent in the fray. These candidates are not rebels from political parties. They embark upon the motives of development to get votes. Arun Kumar is running in Jayanagar constituency and want to have a call centre to address problems of the locality.
The Election commission and Income Tax Department have set an eye on bank withdrawals in the wake of elections in the city. With just three days to go for voting it is expected that huge amount will be withdrawn for bribing voters. On direction from election commission, income tax department has asked to provide details of withdrawal from the banks. ⊕