Basavanagudi: Disillusioned voters?

Who are the candidates standing for elections in Basavanagudi Constituency? What are the issues they need to look at?

Basavanagudi – the very word summons the image of the big bull’s statue from which its name has been derived. Famous Bull Temple and annual Kadle Kai Parishe make this oldest locality very special to every Bangalorean.

However, this area has been witnessing rapid development over the years. The extent of greenery has proportionately reduced with trees being cut everywhere. Many sewerage and water lines are almost 50 years old and need replacement. Garbage disposal, erratic water and power supply and lack of parking facilities also plague this constituency.

The Tagore Circle underpass is another issue that needs to be addressed. Steady commercialisation, the underpass and the Metro construction has changed this green residential locality. The four slums in the constituency have poor basic amenities.. Construction by private parties and digging of roads also contribute to the pollution, say old timers of the locality. Many complain of not having seen their MLA till recent election campaigning although the MLA refutes the charges.

Falling under the General Category, Basavanagudi constituency constituency includes the wards Basavanagudi, Hanumanth Nagar, Srinagar, Girinagar, Katriguppe and Vidyapeeta.

Basavanagudi Assembly Constituency has only one Woman corporator and five male corporators. Four of the six Corporators are from BJP while one each belong to INC and JD(S).

  • Basavanagudi – B.S.Sathyanarayana (BJP) – General
  • Hanumanth Nagar – K.Chandrashekar (INC) – General
  • Srinagar – T.Thimmegowda (JD (S)) – General
  • Girinagar – Lalitha.H.S (BJP) – General (Women)
  • Katriguppe – D.Venkatesh Murthy (BJP) – Backward Category A
  • Vidyapeeta – M.Venkatesh (BJP) – Backward Category A

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In 2008, only 42% of the voters turned up to cast their votes, out of 2,22,013 voters. The voters’ number has decreased to 1,98,231 this time – a 10.71% decrease.

The electorate of Basavanagudi have created a Facebook group, where their needs are voiced and questions like “Which among these are important issues of the Basavanagudi Constituency in the upcoming Assembly Election?” are posed to the group. Zero tolerance to corruption has topped the chart,while crime against women is the second in the list.

The incumbent and his record

Ravisubramanya L A of the BJP is the sitting MLA. He won the 2008 elections with nearly 52% of the polled votes, and a vote margin of 13,200 votes.

Five years ago Ravisubramanya had declared his assets to be worth Rs. 1 crore 30 lakhs. As of March 2013 he is worth Rs 2 crore 93 lakhs. His liabilities have gone up from 10 lakhs in 2008 to nearly 36 lakhs in 2013.

According to an RTI filed byPRS, Ravisubramanya’s attendance in the assembly was an impressive 95% for the first 10 sessions.

Candidate profiles:

Prof B K Chandrashekhar, MLC and former IT minister, is Congress’s candidate for Basavangudi this election. Chandrashekhar, 76, is a retired IIMB professor, and has worked in other universities in India and abroad. He has a post graduation in law from Leeds University, and a doctorate from Oxford University. He is currently one of KPCC’s Vice-Presidents. He is also a former Chairman of the Legislative Council.

Though the KPCC VP, Chandrashekhar positions himself rather as an exception within the party – as part of a minority that gets things done, while also defending Congress on some issues. To read his full interview, click here.

Shantala Damle is an engineer and MBA. She worked as a software engineer for over 12 years.

After volunteering with the Corruption Saaku campaign, she helped in the campaign of Dr. Ashwin Mahesh when he contested Bangalore Graduates Constituency Elections.

Shantala says she was pained by the increasing corruption among politicians and within the government. “The only way to solve our country’s problems is to clean up our political system first. This cannot happen unless people with a clean background participate in the political process.”

Both Shantala and  B K Chandrashekar have been endorsed by BPAC.

Sl. No. Candidate & Age Party-
Total Assets/Liabilities & Cases Details and Phone Numbers
1 B K Chandrashekar – 76 Indian National Congress – Hand Assets: 7.85 crore. A PhD holder, B K Chandrashekar is a Retired Professor from IIM-B. He is also a former Minister and Former Chairman – Karnataka Legislative Council
Contact info: 9900959954 and 08026719911
2 K Bagegowda – 56 Janata Dal (Secular) – A Lady Farmer Carrying Paddy on her Head Assets:  250 Crores Liabilities: Around 38 crores. Having studied up to 12th Standard, he is a land developer by profession.
Ph: 99451 64996
3 L Ramesh Bahujan Samaj Party – Elephant    
4 Ravi Subramanya L A – 55 Bharatiya Janata Party – Lotus Assets:2.56 crore Liabilities:36 lakh A post graduate, his income sources include remuneration for being an MLA, interest on deposits and agricultural sources
Contact info: 9845395380 and 080-26724343
5 V Nanjunda Lok Jan Shakti Party – Bungalow    
6 T K Premkumar Pyramid Party of India – Television   T K Premkumar contested from Bangalore Central for the Lok Sabha Elections and lost
7 N Ravi Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) – Candles   N Ravi is one of the 11 SUCI candidates from the state
8 Ravi Kiran – 55 Karnataka Janata Party – Coconut Assets: 2.72 crore
Liabilities: 8 lakh
A Post graduate, he is a Cine Artist
Contact info: 9845078343 and 9632988222
9 Shanthala Damle – 40 Lok Satta Party – Whistle
Software engineer; volunteered with Corruption Saaku campaign
10 N Hemanth Kumar Gowda Janata Dal (United) – Arrow   Was president of the youth wing of the JDU
11 Arunkumar P Ind – CUP & SAUCER    
12 Dr. Kodur Venkatesh Ind – Telephone   Dr Kodur Venkatesh has founded Arise India Foundation & Sneha Jyothi Foundation. Dr. Venkatesh, has served the Paramilitary Forces before and presently pursuing his interests in the fields of Education, Social Work and Research on Strategic Affairs
13 Gopal K Ind – Electric Pole    
14 K N Chandra Shekar Ind – Grapes    
15 Dr. Nagesh. M.N. Ind – Stethoscope    
16 Yogesh Ind – Hat    
17 K N Venkatesh Ind – Ring    
18 Shivakumar V Ind – Gas Cylinder    

However, the voters here seem to be puzzled over whom to vote. Says Sanjeev Kulkarni, a resident of Hanumanth Nagar: “I don’t want to vote this time. Everyone is corrupt; all parties are corrupt. A software engineer has stood from our area. But why should I vote for her, what has she done to prove her leadership abilities?” He seems to echo the sentiments of hundreds of other disillusioned voters who waited for the ‘change’ to happen and turned cynic.

Updated on 6 May, 2013, in response to readers’ note on error.

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