Bengaluru Buzz: More candidates with criminal cases | Modi’s mega roadshow … and more

Other news of the week: Heavy rains trigger yellow alert, election work in full swing, and claims of KCDC plant being shut down questionable.

More candidates with criminal cases than in 2018

There are more candidates with declared criminal cases in all three parties after 2018. It has risen from 83 to 96 in the BJP, 59 to 122 among the Congress candidates, and 41 to 70 in the JD(S), according to the ‘Karnataka Assembly Elections 2023: Analysis of Criminal Background, Financial, Education, Gender and other Details of Candidates’ report, released by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).  

Eight candidates have declared murder-related cases (IPC Section 302), 35 candidates have attempts to murder cases (Section 307), and 49 candidates have declared cases of crime against women, including one rape case. ADR sources suggest permanent disqualification of candidates convicted for heinous crimes like murder, rape, smuggling, dacoity and kidnapping and disqualification of those who have serious criminal offences.

The analysis of election affidavits by DAKSH in association with Bangalore Political Action Committee ( B. PAC) said that some of the cases are at the investigative stage, while most are at courts. The cases include attempts to murder, cheating, corruption, money laundering, and rioting.

BJP’s Rajarajeswari Nagar candidate and Horticulture Minister Munirathna Naidu has four cases against him and C Govindaraj, the JD(S) candidate from Chamarajpet, has 17 cases. Other candidates include B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, the Congress MLA from Chamarajpet; N Chandra, the BJP candidate from Shivajinagar; Ramalinga Reddy (Congress BTM Layout MLA); Sowmya Reddy (Congress Jayanagar MLA); R Ashok (revenue minister and BJP Padmanabhanagar MLA); CN Ashwath Narayan (BJP Malleswaram MLA and Minister of Higher Education & IT/BT), and ST Somashekar (BJP Yeshwanthpur MLA and Minister of Cooperation).

Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

Read more: 16 promises in BJP Karnataka manifesto, including implementation of UCC and introduction of NRC

Modi’s mega roadshow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s massive 36-km mega roadshow on May 6th is expected to cross 18 Assembly constituencies in two phases: Bengaluru Central and Bengaluru South. The first roadshow of 10.1 kms will be at Bengaluru Central from 10 am to 1 pm, from Suranjan Das Road and move on to New Thippasandra Road, 12th Main Road, ESI Hospital, Domlur, MG Road and War Memorial in Brigade Road.

The second roadshow of 26.5 kms will be from 4 pm to 10 pm in Bengaluru South, RBI Layout in JP Nagar, JP Nagar 24th Main Road, Jayanagar, Aurobindo Marg, Cool Joint (Bangalore High School), Maiyas Restaurant, Karisandra, South End Circle, MN Krishna Rao Park, Nettakallappa Circle, NR Colony, Basavanagudi, Bugle Rock Park, Ramakrishna Ashram, Uma Theatre, TR Mills, Sirsi Circle, ETA Mall, Magadi Road (Mahalakshmi Layout, Vijayanagar, Govindaraja Nagar), Basaveshwar Nagar, West of Chord Road, Shankar Mutt, Rajajinagar, Dr MC Modi Eye Hospital, Navarang Circle, Mahakavi Kuvempu Road, Sampige Road, Malleshwaram, and Malleshwaram 18th Cross.

People are advised to take alternative routes by the traffic police. Gig workers and cab drivers might get affected due to the blocking of major roads and residents rue that it would spoil their weekend plans.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Poll preparations

The Chunavana mobile application, a special postal envelope and an awareness song to motivate voters for the Karnataka Assembly elections on May 10th, was released by the Election Commission of India (ECI). It will provide information, including polling booth locations, the paths towards the booths, candidates, officers’ details, the queues at the polling station on real-time basis, available parking space and nearby emergency facilities, said Manoj Kumar Meena, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for Karnataka.

On May 9th and 10th, the RTCs (Road Transport Corporations) will rent out more than 40% of their fleet for election-related work. The ECI has booked 3,700 KSRTC, 2,000 KKRTC and 1,871 BMTC buses to ferry tens of thousands of polling personnel. Another 2,000 buses from the NWKRTC might be requisitioned. Hence, all these 9,571 buses make up 42% of the RTCs’ total size of 24,000 buses. RTC officials said that bus services would be affected, but hoped the impact would be “minimal” due to “low” demand.

The #Vote4Future drive to spread awareness among first-time voters was launched by Reap Benefit, an NGO. The citizen war room and WhatsApp chatbot have been available to first-time voters navigate the elections. In the war room, volunteers will take calls in Kannada and English from across the state and answer queries. Nearly 50 lakh voters are expected to exercise their right to vote for the first time.

The BBMP will tie up with cab aggregators to help voters with disability for transportation to polling booths.

District Electoral Officer (DEO) Tushar Giri Nath said that requests are being collected on the mobile app Saksham, designed by the Election Commission, and requests will be accepted till May 3rd or 4th. Ola or Uber will be arranged to bring them to the polling stations. The poll panel has organised 4,000 wheelchairs at the polling stations. While official figures indicate that Bengaluru has 65,000 voters with disabilities, the real numbers are expected to be 2.5 lakh. Officials said transportation will be offered to those with more than 40% disability. Giri Nath, who is also the BBMP chief commissioner, said that the EPR (Electoral Population Ratio) is about 58%, while across the state it is 68%.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Rains trigger yellow alert

Heavy showers measuring 26.1 mm lashed the city on the of afternoon May 3rd. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the capital city might get rainfall till May 5th, mainly due to cyclonic circulation over the South-East Arabian sea. The IMD issued a Yellow alert for Bengaluru Rural.

A rainy night in Bengaluru
Representative image. Rain swept Bengaluru. Pic: Namma Hosur/Facebook

There were complaints of water logging on Bull Temple Road, Geddalahalli on Hennur Main Road, Horamavu, Bilekahalli, and Bommanahalli. Water also gushed within houses in Bommanahalli and Garden Layout in HSR Layout. The Whitefield traffic police issued an advisory about slow-moving traffic on Channasandra due to water logging.

Source: Indian Express

Read more: Govt claims 47 lakes developed and 17 underway, but this is not quite true

MLA’s claim of closing KCDC plant questionable

Bommanahalli MLA Satish Reddy announced that the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) plant at HSR Layout has been shut down, as per the demand of the locals. However, the unit has been kept running, even though Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Reddy had assured the residents in 2018 that it would be shut down.

A board has been placed at the gate of the plant stating that the unit has been shut, but residents said that the stench still emanated from it, although the BBMP has maintained that they used lemongrass spray and bio-filters to contain the smell. The BBMP has not issued any official closure order for the plant.

Source: Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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