Bengaluru Buzz: Over 16 lakh new voters | Annual Assembly sittings only 25… and more

Other news of the week: Anti-incumbency wave affects BJP MLAs, Terminal 2 completes 100 days and Whitefield's Metro line work.

Over 16 lakh added to voters’ list

Almost 16,04,285 voters, including about two lakh young electors, have been newly added to the voters’ list after the publication of the final electoral rolls on January 5th  and January 15th in Karnataka. Hence, there are 5.31 crore electors in the 224 Assembly constituencies, said Manoj Kumar Meena, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for Karnataka.

People now cannot add, delete or update the rolls. After announcement of polls, enrolment activities were taken up till April 20th and all eligible applications have been updated in the electoral roll 2023.

Just before the elections, a voter guide in Kannada and English will be given to every household, with information about the date and time, contact details of BLOs, important websites, helpline numbers, documents needed for identification at the polling station and other important information, including the dos and don’ts for voters.

The guide will be distributed with voter slips by the BLOs. The adjacent rooms of the polling stations will be waiting rooms fitted with fans for voters. There will be shamiyanas with chairs. Tokens will be issued to voters in the waiting room to reduce their waiting time in the queue. Even the Queue Management App (Chunavana App) can help them to know the queue status at the polling stations.

The ‘vote from home’ facility will be introduced for the first time from April 29th to May 6th. It will help 1,13,300 senior citizens aged 80 and above and persons with disabilities. Booth-wise lists of electors, who have opted for the facility, have been prepared. The whole process will be video recorded.

Source: The Hindu, The New Indian Express

Anti-incumbency wave

MLAs of areas that got flooded in September 2022, are facing a strong anti-incumbency factor. This is especially in the information technology corridor on the K. R. Puram–Sarjapur Road axis. Last year’s floods are playing on the minds of voters. The three-time MLA Arvind Limbavali from Mahadevapura is facing the pressure, although his wife has got a ticket.

The BJP faces the ‘S’ jinx in the Congress fortresses of Shanthinagar, Shivajinagar, and Sarvagnanagar assembly segments. Entering them is difficult for the BJP and Amit Shah’s strategies as well as the Modi magic have both failed. In 2018, the national president Amit Shah had even conducted a mega roadshow in these three tricky constituencies, but the BJP failed to make gains.

Source: The Hindu, The New Indian Express

Read more: Mahadevapura Cong candidate H Nagesh: Traffic, floods can be fixed by proper administration

Annual assembly sittings averaged only 25

The Karnataka Legislative Assembly had sittings for only 25 days every year on average, according to the ‘15th Legislative Assembly of Karnataka: Analysis of Performance of MLAs’, by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). There were 150 sittings from 2018 to 2023, with the 12th session from February 14 2022 to March 30 2022, being the longest one, with 26 sittings.

The report was released by the ADR and the Karnataka Election Watch jointly. It was based on information given by the Karnataka Assembly Secretariat and its website.

In 2018, there were 22 sittings, in 2019 they met for 18 days, in 2020 for 14 days, in 2021 for 40 days, in 2022 for 45 days and in 2023 for 11 days.

All 150 were attended by K.S. Lingaiah, JD(S) MLA for Belur and Channappa Mallappa Nimbannavar, BJP MLA for Kalaghatgi. The JD(S) topped the party-wise average attendance, with 107 days. The BJP had 99 days, the Congress 95 and Independent MLAs 93 days of attendance.

Moreover, 218 MLAs asked 27,583 questions. The highest number of questions involved general administration, finance/revenue, social welfare, education and Jal Shakti Vibhag. N A Haris of the Congress asked the maximum number of 591 questions.

There were 214 Bills tabled, out of which 202 (94%) Bills were passed.

ADR sources said that 25 days in a year is very poor and any student with this attendance would have been disqualified from writing an examination. Money power drives the polls and people who are not eligible but rich get elected, rather than women and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe representatives who lack money. Online abuse prevents women from entering politics.

Source: The Hindu, The New Indian Express

Read more: Civil Society Forum presents a comprehensive manifesto for Karnataka Assembly Elections 2023

Terminal 2 completes 100 days

The Kempegowda International Airport’s (KIA) 2,55,661-sq.m Terminal-2 (T-2), inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 11th, completed 100 days of operations, catering to more than 11 lakh passengers since January 15th.

The Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL), the operator of the airport, said that T-2 has seen 7,501 flight movements with an on-time performance of 76%. Today, the T-2 operates only domestic services and international services will begin later.
The new Terminal-2 of KIA catered to 11 lakh passengers in its first 100 days. Pic: Twitter/BlrCityPolice

Three domestic carriers Star Air, AirAsia India, and Vistara are operating. Around 7,71,650 bags have been handled at the new terminal in the first 100 days.

Complimentary airport shuttle bus services are provided round the clock at a regular frequency between the old and new terminal. So far 28,040 shuttle trips have been carried out. The top-selling dish is podi masala dosa. About 4,100 podi masala dosas were ordered by passengers in the first 100 days.

Source: The Hindu

Whitefield’s Metro line

The BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited), in its plan to open the entire Whitefield line by June, started to lay the track between K R Pura and Baiyappanahalli metro stations. Just before announcing the dates for the May 10th Assembly elections, the BMRCL opened the metro line from K R Pura to Whitefield, over a distance of 13.71 kms over 12 stations. However, a stretch of close to 2 kms could not be opened due to pending work.

The new Kengeri-Whitefield Metro has boosted affordable housing projects of the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) in the outskirts of the city.

Meanwhile, the Metro’s WhatsApp feature will enable 3 lakh trips for commuters on a monthly basis. About 2,96,765 trips were taken up in March through a QR code ticket on the WhatsApp chatbot, operated by the BMRCL, compared to 2,45,219 trips in February. From April 1st–15th, 1,76,061 trips were taken through WhatsApp QR code tickets. It might cross the Rs 3 lakh point this month.

Source: The Hindu, Moneycontrol

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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