In B’lore Central, Cong seeks to foil Mohan’s bid

In B’lore Central, Cong seeks to foil Mohan’s bid

For a constituency mired in extremes of a growing number of slums and sprawling gated communities amid crumbling infrastructure, Bangalore Central has its voters point out to their basic demands that remain fulfilled even as they take sides on the larger issues that concern the parliamentary election.

Sitting MP and BJP nominee P C Mohan is aiming for a hat-trick by projecting his achievements, including the work on suburban rail and building a railway station through MPLAD

“People today recognise me for my work like building Hoodi railway station to bringing funds to the state. I am known for being accessible to the public,” he said.

In backward areas like Appareddypalya and Mottappanapalya under Shanthinagar Assembly segment, however, people say they have neither seen their MP (Mohan) nor their Congress MLA (N A Haris). We have only seen MP’s face in the papers,” said Vinay, an auto driver.

Hundreds of residents in Motappanapalya get water on alternate days for less than an hour. Things get worse in areas like Mahadevapura where several wards have come under BBMP fold recently.

Unplanned growth facilitated by corruption, lack of basic amenities, traffic nightmare, broken roads and denial of rights to the poor are some of the major questions that have been raised frequently.

Coalition candidate Rizwan Arshad said providing solutions for such problems was his mainstay. “People are wary of the BJP. From demonetisation to GST, their rules have hurt the lower rungs of society. Congress’ NYAY will benefit the poor,”  he said.

Arshad said there was no Modi wave, he said the BJP has consistently avoided real issues of jobs, economic problems, stagnated development and the results will show it.

P C Mohan has come a long way since winning the 2009 elections with a relatively slimmer margin of 35,171 to beating his opponent in 2014 by 1.37 lakh votes.

The efforts by the coalition to build a formidable opposition are visible at the rallies, but their effectiveness remains to be seen.

Isaac Arul Selva, the editor of Slum Jagattu, a magazine which takes a progressive look at slums in the city, said, “The labour laws were changed to suit the employers. Only an MP can help slum dwellers by rehabilitating them at the vacant railway and defence land. But except for (independent candidate) Prakash Raj, no one has taken up the issues of slum dwellers,” he said.

Raj has largely been seen as a candidate who is going to cut into secular and linguistic minority votes of the Congress. Speaking to DH, he said such a view was narrow-minded and fails to understand ground realities. “People are disappointed with both the national parties. This election will be a shock for even Congress, which has continued to operate in denial,” he said.