Two party candidates and an independent in fray at HSR Layout

Swarnamala Jain, a 51-year-old lawyer who has been a resident of HSR Layout for 16 years, believes that the issues of sanitation, water supply and stray dog menace should be prioritised. An independent candidate, she believes that the position of corporator will garner her enough experience to enter politics. Originally from Pune, Swarnamala has been living in Bangalore for the last 27 years. Her politician husband (a former Congress member) and son and daughter – both law students – are very supportive and contribute with new ideas, she says. She has declared assets worth Rs 1.5 crore.

Swarnamala Jain

Swarnamala Jain. Pic: Chetan Boray.

"It is very difficult to find time to meet each and every person in the ward," she says with HSR ward having 44,000 residents within an area of seven square kilometers.

Latha Narasimha Murthy, 32-years old Arts graduate hailing from Chitradurga, is the BJP candidate from HSR. Latha is a staunch follower of party policies. She says that she would "be with the party" and look for the best solutions in case of differences with the public. Latha has a 12-year-old child, and her husband, AM Narasimhamurthy, is the BJP Treasurer from Bangalore district. Latha says that her family has contributed to building the government schools in Agara and Iblur and has donated six lakh rupees to support poor students.

One of the issues Latha has highlighted in her campaigns is the development of Agara Kere. On being pointed out the lake is under the Lake Development Authority (LDA), she replied that the BBMP can work together with the LDA to develop the lake.

Latha Narasimha Murthy

Latha Narasimha Murthy. Pic: Chetan Boray.

Congress candidate Prof. Amaravathi is counting on her popularity as a teacher and her involvement in social work to win the elections. The 47-year-old had completed her Post Graduation from Bangalore University in 1989 and has served as Head of Department, Physics in Vemana Institute of Technology, Koramangala (1999 – 2007) and as Principal at SVR College of Commerce and Management Studies (2007-2008).

A native of Doddakannalli on Sarjapura Road, Amaravathi moved to HSR Layout 25 years ago, after her marriage with K Vasudeva. Vasudeva is a social worker and runs the Kids World Montessori School which he started in 2002. Amaravathi has listed Rs 30,000 as her annual income, with the school as the main source of income. She has two sons.

Amaravathi’s priorities for the ward are garbage clearing, water supply and security for residents. She had contested the elections earlier in 2001 and lost by a narrow margin. Her previous work includes organising health camps for BPL families and leading processions regarding problems faced by residents in her ward. Her interests include current affairs and reading books.


Prof. Amaravathi. Pic: Chetan Boray.

On 27th Main road widening, Amaravathi believes that there should be alternatives to road widening. "Demolishing big houses and apartments troubles residents. It is a waste of money and residents do not get full compensation," she says.

Meanwhile, Swarnamala supports road widening and compensation by cash or TDR, but believes that better planning is necessary. "The continuing growth of the city means that a widened road will not be good enough after 10 years. Also if there is very little property left, what is the use of TDR? So these options can be useful in some places, but problematic in others. So we have to think about these issues before giving sanctions for construction," she says. Latha of BJP was unaware of the details on the issue.

Public Demands

Expectations from the corporator

1) Clean surroundings free of garbage, stray dogs and pigs
2) Eviction of encroachments and construction footpaths.
3) Streamlining of BMTC service with proper bus stands and bus stops
4) Immediate shifting of Parangipalaya bus stand from its present location
5) Proper power supply; informing residents of power cuts in advance
6) Regular potable water supply to all residents
7) Ensuring safety and traffic regulation by the Police
8) Maintenance of good roads and drains
9) Civic bodies to be non-corrupt and be sensitive to privacy of residents
10) Availability of playgrounds and CA sites as per govt norms
11) Corporator should hold regular meetings every 2-3 months with RWAs and ensure action within timelines.

Compiled by Brig. Murthy, President, HSR Layout Sector 2 RWA

The candidate affidavits for HSR ward are available here.

The detailed profiles of the candidates can be found here:


On Akrama Sakrama, Amaravathi says that the scheme is good. However, Swarnamala opines that while regularisation is necessary, there are many problems in the process. "Buildings constructed before 2000 have already paid betterment charges, but there is no betterment ( in terms of drainage and water ). So new buildings will benefit more under the scheme. There has to be a cut-off date for the scheme," she says. Latha is said to toe the party leaders’ decision in the matter.

On the Kannada vs English language debate, Swarnamala says that it is important to have both Kannada and English languages without degrading Kannada. "The people who advocate Kannada-only signboards in BMTC buses are the ones that send their own children to English medium schools," she says. Amaravathi too says that BMTC buses should have Kannada signboard followed by English.

Citizen Matters asked Amaravathi, on the complaint raised by Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) on encroachment of vacant land by migrant workers. She believes that it is a problem that can be solved. Migrants should be given temporary shelters with toilets, she says.

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About Meera K 41 Articles
Meera K is the co-founder of Citizen Matters, the award-winning civic media platform. She also helped initiate Open City, an urban data platform ( Meera is an Ashoka Fellow, recognised for her work building open knowledge platforms that allow citizens to collaborate and improve their cities. She is Founder-trustee at Oorvani Foundation.

1 Comment

  1. Well done, Meera!
    The basic issue (in all such situations) is “to what extent these folks will walk the talk”. That aspect, by and large, has been disappointing!

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