Chickpet constituency, carved out during delimitation from parts of Basavanagudi, Chamarajpet and Jayanagar, is one of oldest business districts in Bangalore, home to thriving market places frequented by thousands. Yet, even as it is possibly one of the highest contributing areas to the state exchequer, the area is plagued by archaic civic problems, as well as others that are brought upon by the conflict between commercial interests and residential living. From choked roads, traffic bottlenecks and lack of parking spaces to choked drains, garbage problems, pollution and sanitation woes, the constituency seems to be crying out for an overhaul.
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Key Issues of the constituency
Key issues range from the pressing and local- traffic, congestion, drainage, sanitation, affordable housing, public spaces and water- to the more global, including FDI in retail and the destruction of small businesses.
Traffic and access top that list. Congestion in the entire City Market area is abysmal, with no footpaths for pedestrians that have not already been claimed by vendors. This includes Avenue Road, BVK Iyengar Road, and the areas around Mamulpet, Sultanpet, Kalasipalya and Dharmarayaswamy Temple. While residents claim that vendors are responsible for access and parking issues, vendors complain that it is the lack of both that are driving the customers away, despite the competitive prices offered. Pedestrians are forced to face vehicular traffic head on, with no pedestrian crossings.
Chickpete inherits an ancient drainage system, with its blocked and leaking sewerage lines. Sudhamanagar’s open drains have posed a serious health risk to residents in the area, while the footpaths from Basappa Circle towards Shivananda Circle are built on the open drains. Arcot Srinivasachar Street, an arterial road that connects the major markets, is witness to open drainage and indiscriminate dumping of garbage.
Public toilets in the Arumugam Mudaliar Road in Kalasipalya, constructed in 1994, have been encroached upon by local goons who have turned the public property into private parking lots, threatening to kill the ward councillor who had attempted to reconstruct the facilities.
Other issues include illegal construction, water contamination and an impending water shortage.
Scams and electoral issues:
Chickpet also saw a 400-crore fraud surface in the award and non-completion of civic projects since 2008, with the active collusion of contractors and corporators. The projects included remodelling of drains near K R Market and construction of Avenue Road, with the bills cleared hastily without the necessary clearances, while there is no evident progress on the ground.
In March 2013, Bangalore Mayor PR Ramesh accused the BJP of deleting a huge number of voters from the Chickpet Constituency electoral register, tilting last year’s BBMP poll in its favour. He said that while voters in all the seven BBMP wards as present during the 2010 BBMP elections totalled 2,33,533, the rolls published by the Chief Electoral Officer in January 2013 contained only 1,70,529 voters. He alleged that either bogus votes were added for political gain, or people have been deprived of their right to vote in the more recent version.
Chickpet also saw a major 400-crore fraud surface, “allegedly perpetrated in civic projects in Chickpet assembly constituency by a nexus of contractors and corporators.” The trail of the scam turned cold with the files pertaining to the same vanishing.The contracts relate to works like remodelling of drains near KR Market and construction of Avenue Road pavement taken up in the constituency since 2008. While work hardly showed any progress on the ground, the bills were cleared in a jiffy. There has also been no clarity on whether necessary clearances were obtained before clearing the bills.
Chickpet includes the wards Akkipete (P), Sowrashtrapete, Balepete, Chickpete (P), Anchepete, Huriupete, Mamoolpete, Ballapurpete, Cubbonpete, Ramanpete and K G Extension.
Incumbent MLA’s performance
The BJP’s Dr. D. Hemachandra Sagar won the 2008 elections, securing 40,252 votes, out of the total vote base of 2,08,178. In second place was R. Devaraj of the Congress, who lagged behind by a margin of 7281 votes, securing 32,971. There was only 48% voter turnout in the 2008 elections.
Sagar’s performance as an MLA draws a blank. Besides taking pride in organising ‘mass marriages’, Aadhar card drives, Sagar claims to have built concrete structures for slum residents in Sudhama Nagar. However, Citizen Matters has not verified these claims. Residents accuse him of inaccessibility, indifference to civic issues and unwillingness to undertake crucial infrastructural projects. However, he tried his best to apprise people about the works done by him.
Far more dire is his record as a politician. Sagar stands accused in a massive land denotification scam alongside tainted CM Yedyurappa. As chairman of Sagar Health Group, one of the main shareholders in Sahyadri Health Care and Diagnostics Private Limited (SHC&DPL), Sagar allegedly paid the company Rs 3.35 crore in the form of share application for denotifying his land in survey number 121 of Uttarahalli village. This land had been notified for the formation of Banashankari Vth stage residential layout. In effect, Sagar abused his official position and ensured that the possession of the land was not taken over by the BDA, causing the exchequer a loss of over Rs 175 crore.
Candidate profiles – Elections 2013
The BJP’s efforts to dissociate itself from Yeddyurappa’s tainted shadow resulted in Sagar not getting ticket this time. The allotting of ticket to Uday Garudachar was met with little resentment among the party workers, except for a minor protest by supporters of Rajarajeshwarinagar MLA M Srinivas at the party office.
Garudachar-owned Maverick Holdings is currently facing two Lokayukta enquiries. The first pertains to illegal construction on the land given to it by the BBMP to construct a public lot – the wholly commercial structure better-known as Garuda Mall.This mall has also encroached on land beyond its boundaries, constructed additional floors, housed additional shops and evaded rent and revenue payments to the BBMP, while refusing inspection. The second pertains to the award of the contract for construction of affordable housing for the residents of EWS Quarters in Ejipura, who were evicted from their homes in January 2013 without any rehabilitation. However, Garudachar claims to be having a ‘soft corner for these slum guys.’. For a full interview with Garudachar, click here.
Among other candidates, JD(S) candidate M C Narayan Gowda has acquired notoriety with his run-ins with the Lokayukta, being accused of disproportionate assets. Congress candidate R Devaraj, who lost by a margin of 7,000 votes in 2008, is possibly looking to ride in on the strong anti-incumbency and minority vote.
Profiles of Candidates
|Declared assets/ liabilities and Criminal record||Details|
|R V Devaraj (55)||INC – Hand||Total income: 1.2 crore
Total assets: 32.08 crore
Liabilities under dispute:
Government dues:89 lakhs
Loans: 5.6 crore
|No-50, ‘C’ Street, Kote, Near Vani Vilas Hospital, Bangalore-560002.
BA from Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur, 2007
A leader of Seva Dal Youth Congress, a three-time MLA, ex-chairman of KSRTC, MLC, General Secretary of KPCC and a member of AICC.
|Uday Garudachar (53)||BJP- Lotus||Total assets: 78. 8 crore
Liabilities: 16.6 crore
No personal criminal record. Company is involved in litigation pertaining to land allotments in the cases of Garuda Mall and EWS Ejipura.
|No.727/1, 46th Cross, 8th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore-560082|
|MC Narayana Gowda (61)||JD(S) – A lady farmer carrying paddy on her head||Total income shown: 13 lakh
Total assets: 5.1 crore
Accused of offences under Sec 13(1)(e) r/w 13(2) of P.C. Act, 1988 in Spl. CC No. 138/2012 before 23rd Additional City Civil and Special Judge at Bangalore, filed by the Lokayukta pertaining to disproportionate assets to the tune of 89.92% of his known source of income.
|No.80/1,Mahaveer Comforts, Dayaganal road, V.V.Puram, Bangalore-560004
*Retired Inspector General of Police, promoted from the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) to IPS cadre in 1997
* state transport commissioner during the rule of H D Kumaraswamy-led JD(S) governement.
* In 2006, caught on camera brokering an illegal land deal, aired on CNN-IBN.
* In 2009, he was in Lokayuktha net for holding disproportionate assets of Rs 1.75 crore. Despite the Lokayukta case, he was promoted as additional commissioner of police (administration), Bangalore City. However, Gowda became liable for prosecution after he retired in June 2012, only after which the Lokayukta was able to file a chargesheet against him. This is the first time he is contesting an election.
|Khamar Taj||KJP – Coconut||Total assets: 10.7 lakh||No.395,Puttenahalli,Vinayakanagar,Bangalore South taluk,Bangalore-560078
Education: 10th Standard
Khamar is contesting elections for the first time.
|Mujahid Pasha A. (31)||SDPI – Auto-Rickshaw||Total assets: 6.15 lakh||NO.11, 8th Cross, Someshwaranagar, Jayanagara 1st Block, Bangalore-560011.
Education: B.Sc., CZMb, Bangalore University, BHS 1st Grade College, 4th Block, Jayanagar Bangalore.
|P Murthy||BSRC||Total assets:
|No 41, 1st cross, Hoysala nagar Nagarabhavi Bangalore-72
Education: SSLC Pass, Government School
|H S Nagabhushan (46)||KP||Total income: 7.5 lakh
Rs. 1.49 crore
Liabilities: 12 lakh
No criminal record
|No 450, 8th Cross, 3rd main, 1t stage 2 nd phase Manjunatha Nagar Bangalore-10
Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management, Karnataka Open University, 1991
MA in Kannada, Karnataka Open University, 2002
BA, Dayananda Evening College, 1990
|V K Praveen (41)||RPI(A)||Total assets: 19 lakh
CC-251/2002 GOWRIBIDANUR P/S.
CC-337/2004 FRAZER TOWN P/S
CC-2111/2010 VAYALI KAVAL P/S
CC-19039-2012 MADIVALA P/S
CC-35/2013 NELAMANGALA P/S
Crime no. 18/2013 SJ Park P/S
U/S 420, 465, 468, 471, R/W 34/OF IPC
U/S 374, 120(B), 468, 417, 420 R/W 34 OF IPC
|No 66, 4th cross, C K C garden Opp. Myschool, LalBagh Road, Bangalore-27
Educational qualification: 7th Standard, My School, Lalbagh Road, 1985
|K Ravichandra Rao (42)||ABHM||Total assets: Rs. 30,000||No 144, 6th Stage, vishveshwaraiya Layout, Ullal Bangalore-56
|Sharadha (50)||SP||Total income shown: Rs. 1,20,000
||No.40/A,Ramannapete, J.M road,Bangalore-560002
|Syed Mudaseer (35)||SDPI||Total assets:
3.3 lakh car loan
|No-233, 2nd Cross, K.M.Colony, Jayanagar 1st Block, Bangalore-560011.
|M Adhi Mulam (38)||IND – Bucket||Total assets: 52,300
Liabilities- Personal loan of Rs. 4000 and Rs. 3500 respectively.
|NO 313, old Tharagupet cross, Bangalore-10
Educational qualification: 4th Standard, Government School Akkipet.
|Ambrose D Mello (45)||IND – Glass Tumbler||No 16, 1st Cross, J C Road New Mission Road, Bangalore-27
|K S Babu (60)||IND – Sewing Machine||No assets declared.
||No 86, N M quarters, K G Nagar, Banglore-19
|Abdul Aleem Turabi (51)||IND – Bat||Assets: 3.3 lakh||NO.13/A,1st cross,S.R.K.Garden,Tilaknagar,Bangalore-560041
SSLC- Community Centre High School, Jayanagar, 1978
|R.Vasanth Kumar (43)||IND – Carrom Board||Total income: 2.2 lakh
||No.43,1st cross,5th A main,Kempegowda layout,Sampangiramanagara,Bangalore-560027
|M K Shanmuga Raj (44)||IND – Candles||Total assets: 20,012
||No 21,Muniyappa Cement Compound, J.C Road,2nd A Cross Bangalore-02 9341712299
8th Standard, Old Fort High School, Chamarajpet
|S Padmanabha (64)||IND – Ring||Income:
Total assets: 4.6 crore
Housing loan, 1.10 crores in 20% of the loan amount
India Bulls house loan, 70 lakhs.
|No 10/2, Ramiyengar Road, VV Puram Bangalore-04
|R Nagaraja (55)||IND -Bread||Total assets: 10.45 crore||No 1117, 19th A Main,2nd Phase,J P Nagar, Bangalore south, Bangalore-78
Pre-university course, VV Puram
|Asgar A Moheen S M (44)||IND – Telephone||Criminal record:
|No.32, 3rd Cross, Someshwaranagar, Jayanagar 1st Block, Bangalore-560011
|Kuram Pasha (36)||IND – Almirah||Criminal Record:
149/12, CCP Police
Total assets: 55.7 lakh
|No.21/1,5th Cross,Someshwaranagar,1st Block Jayanagar,Bangalore-11
9th Standard, Community Centre, Jayanagar 3rd Block, Passed in the year 1995.
Chickpet has 1,87,508 voters, as of the list released on 17 April 2013 by the Election Commission. It remains to be seen if there is any one, strong candidate to emerge blemishless, curry popular favour and rise to the real challenges that Chickpet poses.