Pramod Biligiri's Blog

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Sunkenahalli has a lot of choice this time around
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pramodbiligiri
The area I live in comes under a ward called Sunkenahalli for this time's BBMP elections. There are so many candidates contesting (10) that it feels like we're having a primary! You can find out more at this BBMPElections.in site.



Today morning the Congress candidate was out making housecalls. He's a young man called Kiran Kumar, who is a Mechanical Engineer and lists "Social service" as his occupation in the pamphlet that he gave.

More interesting is the candidate named Prakash Belawadi. He is supposed to be a famous theatre and arts personality (though before my time I am afraid). Even he had dropped by a couple of Sundays ago. I was not awake to witness the event, but today I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he represents the Lok Satta party. His manifesto has a rather rare emphasis on conservation and heritage.



The one thing I liked was his promise to keep development works transparent, unlike the Natl. College flyover and the ongoing Tagore Circle underpass that got foisted on us stealthily. Regarding roads, water supply and electricity, I see the role of government in these things as dubious at best and so don't have any expectations. Altogether, it's not a bad time to be if you are the voting kinds.

Some random observations on upcoming BBMP elections
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pramodbiligiri
I've never heard this much buzz and din about electing corporators in Bangalore before. Given the city's growing pains and the appalling lack of a representative body for 3 years (is that necessarily a bad thing?), the event has suddenly given people hopes of improvement. The media must be pleased as punch and left to them, they'd organize these polls twice a year!

Now, BBMP (formerly BCC) activities are a by-word for corruption, and the scale of this was revealed by the full scale violence that broke out when the parties could not give every aspiring nominee a ticket. This scene is from a farmhouse near Bangalore.


The internal violence is a great sign because it shows that the present nepotism has reached its natural limits and will crumble. The parties will be forced to be less cronyistic. And it's a good chance for the media to exploit these differences and obtain some sound bites.

Maybe I'm too optimistic, but there's a noticeable increase in the diversity of candidates. Like this below video talks about the youngest candidate who is a law student, or even Radio Jockey Rakesh,



On the other hand you have some spirited oldies willing to take on the challenge via Lok Satta. Here in the below video they are pledging to be non-corrupt. The person in the blue kurta is Shankara Prasad, about whom I've written before.



Lok Satta has been getting some good press hits, and now I'll digress to write what I like about them. For example, their candidate for someplace called Dodde Nekundi is one Muralidhar Rao. who identifies himself as a liberal, and actually appears to espouse those values. Transportation is his area of interest, and you will often find him writing passionately about allowing private players to compete with BMTC.

Lok Satta is a bit ahead of the public on some issues, like they have appointed a "shadow cabinet" recently. where there's a corresponding opposition member for each government minister to criticise him. I first heard of the practice in UK and loved it.

And last but not the least, Lok Satta has strongly opposed the Cow Slaughter Bill saying, "In a democratic society, people have to learn to respect the choices and preferences of each other. The freedom to have only popular habits and thoughts is no freedom at all."

As always, CitizenMatters has done a great job with its BBMP section. For basic information there's BBMPElections.in

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