Padmanabha Nagar: Problems plenty in bigwigs’ backyard

Who are the candidates for Padmanabha Nagar this time? How has the sitting MLa performed? What are the problems of the constituency?

Two of the city’s biggest engineering colleges, one of its biggest medical colleges, a former prime minister along with a Rashtra Kavi call Padmanabhanagar their home. Yes, PESIT, Dayananda Sagar, Deve Gowda and G S Shivarudrappa, along with Goddess Banashankari, reside in this constituency which includes much of Padmanabhanagar, Kumaraswamy Layout, ISRO Layout, Yediyur and parts of Banashankari, Basavanagudi and Jayanagar.

The incumbent and his promises

The incumbent is three-term MLA and Karnataka’s Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka. First elected in a bye-election in 1997 from Uttarahalli, India’s largest assembly at that time, Ashoka was re-elected in 1999 and 2004. In 2008 when Uttarahalli was divided and seven new assembly constituencies were carved out of it, Ashoka contested and won from Padmanabhanagar constituency. Ashoka, who hails from the influential Vokkaliga community, became the state’s health minister in the JD(S)-BJP coalition government that came to power in 2006. After 2008, when BJP came to power on its own, Ashoka became the transport minister in the BS Yeddyurappa’s cabinet. In the cabinet reshuffle of 2010 Ashoka was given the additional responsibility of the powerful ministry of Home. And continuing to rise in the government Ashoka was made one of the two Deputy Chief Ministers in the Jagadish Shettar cabinet reportedly to placate the Vokkaliga community after Sadananda Gowda was removed from the Chief Minister’s post.

According to Ashoka, he has done much to improve the state of the constituency. He promises to do more. Click here to read full interview.

The politics

Brahmins and Vokkaligas form the major chunk of voters in Padmanabhanagar which explains the choice of candidates from the major political parties in the constituency. Ashoka who had the back up of his own caste plus could gather Brahmin votes – the traditional vote bank of BJP- won the last election by a margin of 31,000 over his nearest opponent MV Prasad Babu of the JD(S). This time there are 15 candidates in the fray. The JD(S) is fielding Dr MRV Prasad who is a popular doctor in the area and hails from the Brahmin community whereas the Congress is fielding new comer LS Chethan Gowda, son of veteran politician L R Shivaramegowda. According to some locals, the JD (S), by fielding Dr Prasad is attempting to woo Brahmin voters who have previously voted for the BJP. But dislodging Ashoka in this BJP stronghold will take some doing.

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The constituency has BJP corporators representing six of the eight BBMP wards namely Hosakerehalli, Yediyur, Banashankari Temple ward, Kumaraswamy Layout, Padmanabha Nagar and Chikkalsandra while the Congress won the remaining two wards of Ganesh Mandir and Karisandra wards.

Caste Split:

Brahmins: 40,000
Vokkaligas: 35,000
Muslim: 32,000
Naidu: 30,000
Kurubas: 8,000
Source: Vijaya Karnataka

Profiles of candidates – 2013

Name, age Party     Background Education Assets
R Ashoka (55) BJP * Incumbent MLA, the state’s Deputy Chief Minister, Home Minister, Transport Minister and Bangalore In Charge Minister.
* Elected to the Legislative Assembly in the 1997 bypolls from Uttarahalli Constituency. Re-elected from the same constituency in 1999 and 2004 general election.
* Criminal Charges
(1):IPC Sections  Private Complaint report # 22/2011 dt 19/10/2011 filed before 23rd City Civil and Sepcial Sessions Judge- bangalore. Cognizance not taken by Court. Lokayukta police has filed B-Report.
Click here to view the website
BSc Rs 26.2 Crores
Chethan Gowda (30) INC * Business (trading)
Criminal Charges:
– 2 charges related to criminal intimidation (IPC Section-506) 2 charges related to voluntarily causing hurt (IPC Section-323)
– 1 charge related to Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace (IPC Section-504)
– 1 charge related to Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention (IPC Section-34) 1 charge related to wrongful Confinement (IPC Section-342)
– 1 charge related to Wrongful confinement to extort property, or constrain to illegal act (IPC Section-347)
* Son of veteran politician LR Shivarame Gowda
* Was one of the General Secretaries of the State Youth Congress
BA Rs 4.21 Crores
Dr MRV Prasad
JD(S) * Family Physician practising for over 40 years
* President of Bangalore Gayana Samaja
* Ex-president of the Akhila Karnataka Brahmin Mahasabha.
MBBS Rs 8.22 Crores
S N Srirama
KJP * Agriculturist and business
* Criminal Charges:
1 charge related to husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty (IPC Section-498A) 1 charge related to criminal intimidation (IPC Section-506)
12th Standard Rs 98 lakhs
Sumitra Iyengar (56) LSP * Entrepreneur MBA Rs 1.92 Crores
Santosh G JD (U) s/o Govindaswamy Naidu,
No.42, 5th Main, 1st
Cross, Sarvaboumanagara,
Abdul Razack Khan (36) BSP s/o Abdul Rehman Khan,
No.267, 4th Cross, 7th
Main, Minhajnagar, J.P.
WG.CDR. G.B. Athri (Retd) (58) IND s/o late S.N.G. Athri,
No.52, "Dhatri", 3rd
Cross, Saraswathipuram,
Next to Royal Residency,
Bannerghatta Road
H C Krishnamurthy (52) IND s/o Chikkamari Gowda,
No.10, 1st Main, 4th
Cross, Sanjeevini nagara,
Rajkatte Manjunath N (39) IND s/o G. Nagaraj, No.1607,
Meghana and Shalini
Apartment, 100 Ft. Ring
Road, Banashankari 2nd
Stage, Bangalore-560070
S Lakshmi Narayana (35) IND s/o Siddaiaha, No.91, 71
Cross, Kumaraswamy
Layout, 1st Stage,
T S Sridhar (44) IND s/o Late S. Sampangi,
No.10, Ramarao Layout,
Katriguppe, Banashankari
3rd Stage,
KC Srinivas (32) IND s/o B. Chikkanna, No.152,
4th Cross,
Subramanayapura post
Syed Ansar (47) IND s/o Late Syed Kadar,
No.54/1, 5th Main Road,
Karisandra Mukyagrama,
Banashankari 2nd Stage,
Syed Zubai 33) IND s/o Syed Nasir, No.52, 1st
Main Road, Vijayarangam

Key issues:

There is not a single government hospital or a public auditorium in the entire constituency. Apart from this, each ward has it own problems: Old and faulty sanitary lines in Chikkalsandra, Yediyur and Karisandra; lack of basic amenities in Hoskerehalli and Kumaraswamy Layout; heavy traffic in Padmanabhanagar ward and so on.

Residents in Padmanabhanagar complain about the ubiquitous mobile towers, overflowing manholes and about garbage being dumped in empty plots. Stray dog menace and irregular garbage clearance are also the regular complaints here as well as in Ganesh Mandir ward. Residents in Kumaraswamy layout complain about the Vasanthpura lake getting polluted with sewage water coming from adjoining areas. While residents of Yediyur ward experience shortage of water supply, people in the Banashankari ward complain about the poor state of Kanakapura Road near Banashankari temple.

2008 elections: A summary

Out of total 2,19,637 voters, 1,18,675 people chose to vote. Polling percentage stood at 54.03%. Ashoka secured 61,561 (51.87% of polled votes), with a winning margin of over 30,000. This time, the constituency has 2,19,467 registered voters, according to the Election Commission.

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