Facebook Twitter Google RSS

BJP wins Bangalore civic polls, promises slum-free city

The Bharatiya Janata Party Monday captured power in the Bangalore civic agency for the first time and pledged not to allow new slums in the growing and crowded city that is known as India's tech capital.

"The people's verdict has increased our responsibility. We will try to fulfil whatever promises made in the party manifesto," a beaming B.S. Yeddyurappa, the BJP's first chief minister in Karnataka and south India, said after the party won the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) or Greater Bangalore City Corporation election.

Of the 198 seats in the BBMP, the BJP won 112 followed by the Congress (64), the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) (15) and seven Independents.

Voting took place March 28 with about 46 percent of the 6.6 million eligible voters casting their ballots to choose their representatives from over 1,300 candidates, majority of them Independents.

The BJP contested 197 seats, the Congress 196 and the JD-S 194.

"After New Delhi, Bangalore is the most important city in the country in drawing international attention," Yeddyurappa told reporters.

He said, "We will not allow new slums to come up in Bangalore and will improve civic amenities in the existing slums."

There are over 500 slums in the city, though officially only around 360 are recognised as such, entitling them to get water, electricity and other civic amenities. About 600,000 people, of the city's population of around eight million, live in these slums.

The BJP's promises in the poll manifesto include a mono rail network, local train service, eight-lane roads at all entry points to the city, making 93 roads into four-lane and a 1,400 MW electricity generation plant on the city's outskirts for supply of quality power to Bangalore.

The party said it would make Bangalore a world class city with an investment of about Rs.25,000 crore (Rs.250 billion) in three years.

With the city's infrastructure growing at a snail's place compared to rapid growth in the population, the tech hub's tale is one of shortages.

With one party ruling the state and Bangalore civic agaency, the eight-million Bangaloreans hope for an early end to power cuts for long duration in the summer, scramble for drinking waters in several parts of the city, narrow roads incapable of taking the burgeoning vehicular traffic, piles of garbage in most of the residential areas and potholed roads.

The Bangalore voters got the opportunity to choose their representatives to govern the city after a delay of three years as the old 100-member Bangalore City Corporation made way for the expanded civic body with the inclusion of newly urbanized adjoining areas.

Monday's victory is a poll hat-trick for BJP in three years.

It stormed to power for the first time in Karnataka in the May 2008 assembly polls, bagged 19 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the April-May 2009 parliamentary polls in the state, and in 2010 captured the Bangalore civic agency.

For the Congress, it has been a dismal show in all the elections since it lost power in the 2004 assembly polls.

The results are a big blow to the JD-S as its efforts to expand base from rural areas of south Karnataka to urban localities have floundered.

While Yeddyurappa claimed the BJP's tally is a proof of the good work his government has done in the last two years, the Congress and the JD-S spokespersons dismissed it as outcome of "muscle and money power and misuse of official machinery by the ruling party".

The last elections to the civic agency were held in 2001 which the Congress had won. The five-year term of the corporation ended in 2006.

Since November 2006, the city has been ruled by administrators appointed by the government as elections were put off to rework the wards to keep pace with Bangalore's expansion. (IANS)

Featured Update

Nokia launches Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL Android Smartphones

25 February 2014: Nokia has announced the launch of Android smartphones in the Mobile World Congress held at Barcelona, Spain. The company ...