Missing MLAs not missed at all by their constituents

Residents of Horamavu, Kalkere protest demanding good roads and civic amenities at Jayanthi Circle in front of BBMP office in Bengaluru on Saturday. Residents came in large numbers to protest as the main roads are in bad conditions for several weeks causing traffic jam and accidents in the area. | DH Photo: Pushkar V

Absences may make memories fonder. But that may not apply to rebel MLAs Munirathna, K Gopalaiah and Byrathi Basavaraj, whose resignations with 12 others toppled the Congress-JD(S) government.

A visit to their respective assembly constituencies revealed that the legislators are either not missed at all or are the focal point of public ire.

Most corporators and RWAs claimed that nothing really changed after their resignations, while a few had expected their MLAs to solve the pressing issues during their tenure.

A president of a resident welfare association in Rajarajeshwari Nagar delivered a scathing rebuke on Munirathna and the local corporator, claiming that the area had been neglected during the MLA’s tenure because they voted for the BJP in the local body polls.

“The corporator here seemed powerless. He’d ask us to meet the MLA for any grievances. Our locality was deprived of civic works. The MLA promised to address the issue after the Lok Sabha polls, but now we don’t know who to ask,” he said.

Mamatha Vasudev, the BJP corporator representing the JP Park ward under the RR Nagar Assembly constituency, said the civic work in the ward is going on even without her knowledge.

A road in Kalkere, Horamavu. Residents are irked by  KR Puram MLA Byrathi Basavaraj’s ‘no-response’ attitude.  DH FILE PHOTO
A road in Kalkere, Horamavu. Residents are irked by KR Puram MLA Byrathi Basavaraj’s ‘no-response’ attitude. 
DH FILE PHOTO

“Major works need the MLA’s approval, but I’ve no clue (if he had approved it). Bills are cleared in his absence and work worth Rs 8-10 crore is taking place in his absence,” she told DH.

But G K Venkatesh, also a corporator, admitted that works have been stalling for the past year. “The government didn’t release funds and so many projects have been stalling. This has prompted the MLA to submit his resignation. I won’t accept that works are affected only in the past month,” he said.

Corporators and residents in the Mahalakshmi Layout Assembly constituency, which Gopalaiah represents, did not feel his absence in the past month. “It (political crises) didn’t affect the works in our constituency. Here, we never had controversies. We work in good faith,” corporator S P Hemalatha said.

She said old projects like the building of Kamlammangundi, an old maternity ward, and monthly health camps have been going on without a glitch, while some new projects are also in the pipeline in the next two months.

“He could’ve made a difference — if he had wanted to — by staying with the people in the time of need, and by fighting for our facilities,” said a resident about Basavaraju, the KR Puram MLA.

“Residents of Horamavu are irked by the MLA’s ‘no-response’ attitude. In the middle of so many civic issues, our voices have gone unheard,” another resident said.

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