Candidates promise transparency

Candidates promise transparency

Mahadevapura Constituency BJP candidate Aravinda Limbavali . Photo/ B H ShivakumarMahadevapura

There is a palpable anger among citizens in the Mahadevapura constituency, who struggle with a series of civic issues like traffic gridlocks, lack of basic amenities and burning or rotting lakes.

They protested against the authority’s apathy towards the constituency, which contributes heavily to the exchequer.

Incumbent Aravind Limbavali — who hopes to score a hat-trick of victories — is quite aware of the discontent and is working hard to deflect it towards the Congress.

“Civic work is stalling because the government had released a meagre Rs 790 crore in the past five years for a large constituency like this. By contrast, the (previous) BJP government gave Rs 1,400 crore,” Limbavali told DH.

The sitting MLA has released a document, detailing his accomplishments in the past five years. “Instead of complaining, I’ve persuaded private companies to invest in the development works in the constituency under the public-private model,” he said.

His rival and Congress candidate A C Srinivasa accuses the MLA of not keeping in touch with the people. “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah himself asked Limbavali why he wasn’t seeking funds for the development of the constituency. The government released money without demand, but nothing was utilised,” he said.

The BJP leaders at the booth level believe that Limbavali’s visibility and the Narendra Modi wave would help the candidate carry the constituency for the third time, but the Congress candidate dubbed it “wishful

Many expect a closer contest this time around. Limbavali heads the BJP’s IT initiatives in the state and has made efforts to woo the voters in the IT and corporate sectors.

Srinivasa, who lost to Limbavali by a margin of 6,000 votes in 2013, is focusing on the thousands of migrant workers in the area.

Civic activists working under the banner ‘Whitefield Rising’ have drawn up their own manifesto, consolidating the demands of the eight wards in the constituency, which lack sanitary lines, water supply and garbage removal.

“Whoever is the winner, we want them to commit to the people’s manifesto. This would bring transparency and accountability at the ward level. One of our important demands is that the authorities should give 50% representation for the citizens in the ward committees to monitor the civic works,” said Zibi Jamal, member of Whitefield Rising.

The group went a step further and brought the candidates on a single platform to interact with the public. Besides Limbavali and Srinivasa, JD(S)’ Satish K and Bhaskar Prasad of the AAP also took part in the interaction.

“The candidates have signed a petition, assuring that they would give 50% representation to the residents in the ward committee,” said another Whitefield Rising member, R Yagnalakshmi.

The group launched the #MillionVoter campaign to enrol one lakh voters in the constituency. This, coupled with the Election Commission’s own campaign, has increased the number of voters in the constituency from 4.7 crore to 3.68 crore in the previous election.