Basavanagudi: BJP bastion set to vote saffron again

Traffic movement was very slow due to White topping work on Prof. D S Madhava Rao circle to Armugam circle on Kanakapura road at Basavanagudi in Bengaluru on Saturday. Photo Srikanta Sharma R.

L A Ravi Subramanya of the BJP is among the handful of city MLAs seeking a third term to the Assembly.

Contesting from Basavanagudi, which he represented in 2008 and 2013, Subramanya appears to have a slight arithmetic edge over his rivals — K Bagegowda of the JD(S) and Congress' Boregowda.

With the alluring aroma of food and coffee wafting from some of the best eateries in the city, Basavanagudi has 70,000 Brahmin voters and 40,000 Vokkaligas, besides other communities in smaller numbers.

Both the JD(S) and the Congress have fielded Vokkaliga candidates, which could split the community votes here and hand Subramanya the advantage.

Basavanagudi is home to writers and intellectuals. It has a heady mix of conservative and educated salaried class. Caste hardly matters in this constituency, despite efforts to play the caste card by political parties in the past.

That said, the constituency has been staunchly BJP for the past five elections. Former chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde was the last non-BJP candidate to win from this constituency in 1989, which is nearly 30 years ago.

"The MLA is quite accessible in times of crises," admitted Jagannatha S, a resident of Girinagar. "But issues like growing traffic congestion, tree felling in the name of development and delay by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) in laying the drainage network remain a pain point."

Despite being the oldest and one of the most well-planned localities in the city, Basavanagudi has problems like poor regulation of traffic, parking issues and delay in garbage clearance.

Locals wants change

He (Ravi) is a humble man, but people are asking for a change after seeing no development in the locality over the past 10 years," said Boregowda of the Congress.

Asserting that he has a direct competition with the BJP for the seat, Boregowda said people are fed up with the same set of problems persisting for several years. "There's no government hospital in the constituency," he pointed out.

But it is hard to overlook the strong presence of Bagegowda. The real-estate tycoon contesting on a JD(S) ticket ended up second to Subramanya the last time, with a considerable vote margin.

Bagegowda has been campaigning relentlessly ahead of the elections, despite the absence of big leaders from his party to back his candidacy.

The BJP is also campaigning hard. The saffron party has its corporators representing all the six wards in the constituency, giving the party the ability to micro-manage the election right to the booth level by deploying 'vistaraks' and 'page pramukhs'. 

~ 2013 elections 

Winner: L A Ravi Subramanya (BJP)

Runner-up: K Bagegowda (JD-S)

~ Candidates for 2018

L A Ravi Subramanya (BJP)

K Bagegowda (JD-S)

Boregowda (Cong)

~ Top five issues

Parking issues
Poor traffic management
Delay in garbage clearance
Loss of green cover
Delay in laying sewage lines

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Basavanagudi: BJP bastion set to vote saffron again

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