It was Sunday afternoon. A cavalcade with workers waving BJP flags followed by an open van with party National Vice-President and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa seeking votes for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike polls moved slowly through the narrow bylanes of Nagarathpet Main Road.
It was the first time that Yeddyurappa had hit the campaign trail for the Palike polls. He was canvassing for the party candidate contesting from Dharmarayaswamy Temple ward, one of the oldest localities in the City. The ward located in heart of the City gets its name from the famous 800-year-old Dharmarayaswamy temple and closely associated with the famous Karaga festival. The campaign started a little away from the temple and the scenes that followed were ironic.
Yeddyurappa, party candidate Prathiba Dhanaraj and local candidates sought votes in the name of development even as the cavalcade passed by huge heaps of uncleared garbage. At several places the drains overflowed resulting in an all-prevading stink. However, unmindful of the scene around them the BJP leaders sought vote from the people. The ward was represented by the present candidate’s husband, Dhanaraj, in the previous BBMP Council.
Being a Sunday, the narrow lanes of the ward comprising Sunkalpet, Nagarthpet, Kumbarpet among others were relatively less chaotic but the uncleared garbage, bad condition of roads were striking.
Most of the residents live in houses built atop the shops on the ground floor. Some of them did come out on the gallery but showed no enthusiasm. “We have been living in chaos and mess for decades. Complaints that conditions be improved have failed to evoke any response. We have become used to our surroundings”, Narasappa, who runs a metal shop in Sunkalpet Main road said.
Yeddyurappa too did not seem to have vigor and energy he usually exuberates. He occasionally waved but did not make any speeches.
So far, Yeddyurappa has kept himself away from the poll preparations. He is said to be unhappy that his candidates were not given tickets to contest the polls.
Earlier in the day, he skipped a party event wherein the manifesto for the BBMP polls was launched. As if tit-for-tat no prominent leader accompanied Yeddyurappa during his campaign trail.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Yeddyurappa said that he had no difference with other leaders. “I was busy with campaigning today. I will continue to campaign for party candidates for the next three days. We will also strive to ensure BJP secures a majority in the polls and continues with its second term in office”, he said.