Entrepreneurs, activists in fray

With shoestring budgets, they take on powerful parties and interests

 Shankar Prasad from the Loksatta Party and D S Rajshekar, an independent fielded by the Bangalore North-East Residents’ Welfare Association are making a bid to enter the Palike as councillors.

Prasad is contesting from Ward 160 of Rajarajeshwari Nagar, while Rajshekar is candidate from Ward 27 of Banasawadi.

Prasad, 57, has a post-graduate degree from IIT (Kanpur), and lived half his life abroad. On his return, he settled in Rajarajeshwari Nagar. He launched a company that provides ERP solutions for village level governance. He says BBMP, which has a plan outlay of about Rs. 7,000 crore spending needs to be transparent.

“Seldom do people know where the money is going”, he says. Prasad, who has a doctorate from State University of New York, says middle-class educated citizens are looking for a change, he says.

Transparency

D S Rajshekar, an electrical contractor and a self-proclaimed ‘victim’ of the lack of transparent governance, says time has come for people to vindicate themselves from the lack of proper governance.

“Vexed with the political parties, the RWA of Bangalore North-East, has been instrumental in moving my case to become their representative in the council”, the electrical engineer says.

Spirited

Shobhana Jayaraman is an independent candidate contesting from Ward 183 of Padmanabhanagar. She is supported by Abhyudaya, an NGO.

The 52-year old home-maker has an MA in Economics from Madras University. She is living in Bangalore for the last 26 years.

“I want to bring a change in governance in this country. That’s why I am keen on entering politics. My budget for campaign is Rs 50,000. I believe in doing door-to-door campaign”, she says. Another Independent candidate supported by Abhyudaya is Niranjana T B. He is contesting from Ward 161 of Hosakere. He has many admirers in Ittamadu slum as he helped 400 slum-dwellers to get possession certificates.

Billionaires no good

A retired MICO employee and founder-president of Nirantara Janajagruti Vedike says: “I
have seen multi billionaires becoming politicians and doing nothing good for the people. I always wanted to do something good for my area. So, I am here as candidate”, he says.

“I am neither a builder or a landlord. I am retired person.  I can’t spend more that Rs 2.5 lakh”, he says. N S Mukund, president of Citizens Action Forum and Secretary of Abhyudaya is says citizens’ associations and people are “sick and tired of false promises
made by politicians.”

Last May, the people of Padmanabhanagar had requested R Ashok of BJP (now Transport Minister) not to field ex-corporator Srinivas as candidate in Palike elections as he was inefficient.

“Ashok had assured us that he would consult resident and welfare associations before finalising candidates in his assembly constituency. But he did not keep up his promise. Srinivasa is the BJP candidate. We are upset”, he says.

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