Mandate to deliver

The resounding victory of the ruling BJP in the elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) seems to have surprised even that party. By all accounts, the BJP’s winning tally of 112 seats in the 198 wards council, has far exceeded its rosiest expectations. Given the BJP’s intra-party problems and the consequent loss of image and its failure to solve the acute power and water crises, the party was most reluctant to hold the polls and tried every trick in its bag to have them postponed. But the people of Bangalore have given the BJP a clear mandate, hoping that the Yeddyurappa government will attend to the City’s pressing problems. The only disappointing aspect is that the middle classes stayed away from elections and the polling was as low as 44 per cent.

The main reason for BJP’s spectacular win is that the party was smart enough not to bring in its agenda into the election campaign. There were other reasons too. Voters, particularly in the erstwhile CMCs, seem to have decided that their civic needs would be best fulfiled by the ruling party in the state. The BJP had made it amply clear that areas that voted it would be taken care of, in terms of roads and drains. In any case, many of the BJP candidates, as were that of the Congress and the JD(S) were money bags, local musclemen and relatives of established politicians. They did not carry ideological baggage, which may have helped them. Those that did lost miserably, as in the case of minister Aravind Limbavali’s nominees in Mahadevapura wards. Of course, the Congress campaign was listless, as if the party is already comatose and the JD(S) wasn’t really expecting much as it has an image of being anti-urban populace.

Now that it has Bangalore in its pocket, the BJP would be expected to deliver on its promises of development. The problems that the metropolis faces requires urgent attention with enormous will and commitment. The shortages of water and power, the woeful infrastructure, particularly in the newly annexed areas, garbage disposal, environment-friendly sanitation, traffic management, creating and maintaining lung spaces, and the public health care, particularly for the low income population call for speedy and dedicated solutions. Hopefully it is these challenges and not the thousands of crores of BBMP budget that will attract the attention of our corporators.

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