Pulakeshinagar: Candidates who switched parties sure of victory

Congress candidate Akhanda Srinivasa Murty with his supporters at D G Halli ward in Bengaluru on Saturday.

The very same candidates who traversed the streets of the Pulakeshinagar constituency seeking votes in 2013 are back again; only that they have switched parties.

Akhanda Srinivasamurthy, who won the seat the last time on a JD(S) ticket, is contesting as a Congress candidate, while his rival and four-time legislator Prasanna Kumar joined the JD(S) after being denied a ticket by the Congress.

Kumar lost the 2013 elections by 10,000 votes. He blamed the Congress for creating confusion among the voters in Pulakeshinagar.

Srinivasamurthy, one among the seven JD(S) rebel MLAs who cross-voted during the 2016 Rajya Sabha polls, joined the Congress party.

Kumar, who succeeded his father late B Basavalingappa, had to move out of the Yelahanka (reserved) constituency after winning it twice since it was made a general seat during the 2008 delimitation.

"My father won consistently from the city. People still remember him and admire the work. I had won from this constituency before, but was refused a ticket. But I have a strong support base here and am confident of victory," Kumar said.

Both the candidates are trying to win over the cadres of their respective parties. The constituency has five Congress corporators.

One of the long-pending issues in the constituency is the narrow and constricted roads, especially the Tannery Road and Dinnur Road that often choke traffic. Mohan, who is from the Ambedkar Layout Residents' Association, says no attempts had been made to solve the issue.

"Vehicles get stuck for a long time in these two roads during peak hours," he said. "Around four to five lakh commuters pass through these roads on a daily basis. Absence of a railway overbridge also leaves vehicles stranded for a long time when the railway gates are closed." 

A proposal to build overbridges at the Shampura, Kanakanagar and Tannery Road railway gates has not been implemented, Mohan says.

Sagayraj, a resident of Devarajeevanahalli, says slums in the constituency have not seen any development.

"Malnourishment among children in DJ Halli was a big issue six or seven years ago. Reports on the issue was all over the news, but nothing much has been done. The slums here are flooded during the rain and health remains a serious issue," he says.

The constituency has a large number of Muslim voters.

Srinivasamurthy, the sitting MLA, says road widening is stalling since authorities are unable to convince people to accept TDR. "Widening of Tannery Road had progressed because of my effort. The work costs Rs 50 crore. I've spoken to Urban Development officials to come up with a regular compensation formula instead of TDR," he said.

 

2013 elections 

Winner: Akhanda Srinivasamurthy R (JD-S)

Runner-up: Prasanna Kumar B (Cong)

Candidates for 2018 

  • Akhanda Srinivasamurthy R (Cong)
  • Prasanna Kumar B (JD-S)
  • Susheela Devaraj (BJP)

Top five issues

  • Narrow roads
  • Water scarcity
  • Poor maintenance of stormwater drains
  • Poor conditions of slum dwellings
  • BBMP properties used for waste dumping

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Pulakeshinagar: Candidates who switched parties sure of victory

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