Cong. leader confident about fifth Gandhinagar win

Dinesh Gundurao (Congress), A R Sapthagiri Gowda (BJP) and Narayanaswamy (JDS).

The nerve centre of Sandalwood, as the Kannada film industry is known, the Gandhinagar Assembly constituency is quite literally the city's beating heart as it houses the famed Majestic, several cinema halls and the City railway station.

Made of seven BBMP wards — five of which are represented by the Congress and two by the BJP — Gandhinagar remains the bastion of the grand old party, especially its leader Dinesh Gundu Rao, who has won here four times since 1999.

The bustling constituency is beset by traffic congestion, cleanliness and garbage clearance issues, besides water scarcity, narrow roads and lack of development works in the slums.

Much of Subhash Nagar and Okalipuram are slums dominated by Tamil speakers, a major vote bank in the constituency. While Binnipet and Cottonpet are old commercial areas in the city, the Dattatreya temple ward and Gandhinagar localities remain middle and upper-class neighbourhoods.

Successive governments have neglected the issues affecting the Srirampura slum. "We're just a vote bank for them," said Kamalamma, who resides in Swatantra Nagara. "The place is horrible during the rain when sewage water floods the houses here. We get drinking water just once a week."

More than a lakh people use the transport facilities here to travel both within and outside the city, but roads in the Majestic are a veritable bottleneck and garbage is strewn around places like the Kempegowda bus terminus.

"The underpass in Majestic connecting the bus terminus and railway station is in a terrible mess," said Anil Kumar, a resident of Seshadripuram. "Most of the place is encroached by beggars and vendors. Garbage is seen everywhere and the rotting smell dominates the air."

Roads winding through Majestic, Okalipuram Junction, Central (near Mantri mall), and Link Road-Seshadripuram remain bottlenecks. Waterlogging in these roads during last year's rain added to the ordeals of the commuters.

However, Dinesh is confident of carrying the seat for the fifth time. "People are happy with my performance (as an MLA) and am confident of winning. All segments, including north Indian migrants and Tamils, have a good opinion about me," he said.

Dinesh says all the roads in the constituency will be upgraded to white-topped ones. He also asserts that 90% of the drinking water issues in the slums have been solved and scarcity exists only in the summer due to the dried up borewells.

The BJP has fielded A R Sapthagiri Gowda, son of former minister Ramachandra Gowda, while former corporator V Nagraj is contesting as an independent candidate here.

"The slums here haven’t seen development in the past 20 years and the sitting MLA hasn't lived up to people's expectations," Sapthagiri said, sounding confident of his victory.

Given the solid Tamil migrant population here, the AIADMK has fielded M P Yuvaraj as its candidate. In 1994, B Muniyappa won here on an AIADMK ticket.

 

2013 elections 

Winner: Dinesh Gundu Rao (Cong)

Runner-up: P C Mohan (BJP)

Candidates for 2018 

  • Dinesh Gundu Rao (Cong)
  • A R Sapthagiri Gowda (BJP)
  • V Narayanaswamy (JD-S)
  • V Nagraj (Independent)
  • M P Yuvaraj (AIADMK)

Top five issues

  • Traffic mess
  • Lack of cleanliness, solid waste management
  • Water scarcity
  • Narrow roads
  • Lack of development in slums

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Cong. leader confident about fifth Gandhinagar win

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