Minister on hat-trick; voters disgruntled over unsolved issues

Minister on hat-trick; voters disgruntled over unsolved issues

“Madam, how do I get to Bapuji Nagar 3rd Cross,” asked an NCC cadet to a local resident at the Deepanjali Nagar metro station.

The reply was swift: “Just follow your nose and it will lead you there.”

The woman was referring to the stench emanating from the open drain near the metro station passing through Bapuji Nagar.

In terms of development, Deepanjali Nagar and Bapuji Nagar stand in contrast to Vijayanagar, Attiguppe and Hosahalli areas in the Vijayanagar constituency, from where housing minister M Krishnappa is seeking a third term as an MLA. 

Even as the minister credits himself for developing the area, a section of the constituents find it harder to agree with him.

Residents of Vijayanagar and Hosahalli are concerned over the patchy developmental work in residential areas, while denizens of Bapuji Nagar, Deepanjali Nagar and Gali Anjaneya Temple continue to demand basic amenities.

The electorate here is a mixed bag in terms of voting segments. There are retired citizens, youngsters, and joint and nuclear families. Also evident here is the assortment of castes and creeds: Vokkaligas and Lingayats co-exist in the constituency with Muslims and Brahmins.

The BJP has fielded former BBMP corporator H Ravindra, while the JD(S) has put up Paramashiva N E. The candidates of all three major parties are Vokkaligas. The constituency houses the administrative headquarters of the Sri Adichuchanagiri Mutt,  belonging to the Vokkaligas.

Rumours are awash that the JD(S) has a secret understanding with Krishnappa and is fielding lightweights like Kanyakumari in the 2013 elections. Even Paramashiva is a political novice.

Krishnappa is confident of scoring a hat-trick of wins here. “(The election) is a one-sided affair. I see no competition. I defeated V Somanna last time by 44,249 votes,” he said.

The minister refutes claims that people find it harder to meet him. “They’re lying if they say they can’t visit me. I’m always available at home. I’m here for the past two terms and will continue to be available,” he said.

His challenger Ravindra is hopeful of winning people’s support this time. “Nothing happened in the past 10 years (during Krishnappa’s tenure). The problems of slum dwellers are not solved. I’ve been a two-term corporator and I’m aware of the issues,” he said. Ravindra contested the previous elections from Govindarajanagar, where he lost to Krishnappa’s son, Priyakrishna.

Paramashiva likes to project himself as an alternative to the two candidates of the mainstream parties. “People want change and I’m that change,” the JD(S) candidate said.

The electorate list out a series of issues that remain unresolved for several years. Chief among them is the frequent flooding during the rainy season when people have even been washed away.

“It’s impossible to enter our shops during the monsoon. Successive governments have promised to address the issue of waterlogging, but nothing has happened,” said Kemparamaiah, a shop owner and resident of Deepanjali Nagar.

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