Gandhinagar voter guide: Candidates and constituency info

Find out how Gandhinagar Assembly Constituency in the centre of the city is faring and about the major issues in this constituency.

Find out how Gandhinagar Assembly Constituency is faring and what the major issues in this constituency are. Learn about the incumbent MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao (INC) and other candidates, including AR Sapthagiri Gowda (BJP) and V Narayanaswamy (JDS).

About the constituency

Located in central Bengaluru, the Gandhinagar constituency consists of well-known areas such as Majestic, Chickpete, Chamrajpete, Dattatreyanagar and Okhalipuram. Apart from housing the terminal stations of Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC),  Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and the metro, the region is also characterised by narrow bylanes and traffic-heavy roads. It contains the older trading areas such as Balepete, Cottonpete and Chickpete, which continue to be thriving commercial hubs today. Dating back to 250 years, Chickpete was Bengaluru’s key commercial area as well as the central business district of the  Bengaluru of yore. The region is also home to British-era venues, such as Central Jail, Freedom Park and Race Course Road.

Sitting MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao of the Indian National Congress party has represented the constituency in the Karnataka Assembly for five years in a row. The constituency was recently in the news for allegations against the Janata Dal (Secular) for threatening voters by collecting their voter ID Cards and intimidating them. The sitting Member of Parliament is P C Mohan, Bharatiya Janata Party.

At a glance

Constituency NameGandhinagar
Constituency No164
Constituency Area (in sq.km)7.02 sq. km
Number of voters (January 2023)219,934
Male voters113713
Female voters106198
Other voters23

Data for all 28 constituencies can be found here. Corresponding source: ceo.karnataka.gov.in

Key issues in the constituency

Recently, the region was in the news for the poor quality of roads, where residents claimed that newly laid roads in the area were crumbling. Water scarcity, in the form of disrupted supply of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and lack of fire safety measures in dense colonies, have plagued the region. The narrow streets also pose challenges to pedestrian movements, on-street parking and traffic congestion. 

A multi-level car park that is proposed to accommodate “550 four-wheelers and 450 two-wheelers.” has prolonged the problems that residents face, especially on arterial roads, such as Seshadri Road in Gandhinagar, which connect the western parts of the city to the Central Business District. Residents have complained of haphazard parking along this and the sub-arterial road affecting traffic flow. “We have constructed a multi-level car park in Gandhinagar. While we haven’t been able to open it, the structure is ready,” said Rao in reference to this, in the interview. 

Recently, the Janata Dal (Secular) was accused of confiscating voter ID cards and threatening voters in the constituency. A complaint regarding the same has been filed by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Legal Cell with the election commission.

Key parameters – How does this constituency fare? 

*Based on their performance in each sector, constituencies are divided into three groups. High=top nine constituencies; Medium = mid nine constituencies; Low = bottom nine constituencies. A ‘High’ rating does not necessarily mean the constituency is doing well; it only means that the constituency is among the top nine constituencies for that parameter.

Schooling

Metrics / CountRating*
22 government schools, i.e 1 school per 0.32/sq kmHigh

There are 22 public or government schools in the constituency and 50 private schools. There is a government school for every 0.32 sq km of the 7 sq km region.

Mobility

Metrics / CountRating*
4 metro stations
21 bus stops, Medium
19.3 trips per 100 residentsMedium

Gandhinagar hosts the major stations of BMTC, KSRTC and the Namma Metro. There are 300 bus stops per unit area. The buses passing through these stops essay 43098 trips, which means 19.3 trips are carried out per 100 residents; giving Gandhinagar a medium rating. The frequency and volume of buses are attributed to the region housing the Kempegowda Bus Stations (Majestic), which is a terminal station for the majority of the city’s buses.

Citizen engagement

Metrics / CountRating*
Voter turnout 
2013: 53.94%
2018: 57.47%
110 ward meetings were heldLow

In the five years, the voter turnout only increased by 4%, but Gandhinagar still fared better compared to other wards. There were only ten ward meetings held, which pits 15.7 meetings per ward- giving it a ‘low’ rating.

Health

We have not rated public health infrastructure as the data available was inadequate, and the data is simply presented as is.

Metrics / CountRating*
1 Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC)
3 Namma Clinics
2 BBMP Health centres, 1 Maternity hospital
56 Anganwadis

Please note that the number of PHCs or Namma Clinics within a constituency is not sufficient to draw conclusions about the state of healthcare. We also need data on the availability of staff and their capacity, medicines, equipment, and diagnostic facilities. Quality is also determined by the distribution and access of these facilities within the area, the efforts in preventive/promotive healthcare and community participation, and the process challenges, for e.g., the insistence on Aadhar or Thayi cards.

Click here for the details on how all constituencies fare and their source(s)

Constituency map

Gandhinagar Constituency map

Citizen demands

According to news reports, citizens have largely been demanding better roads and civic infrastructure in this constituency, which is part of old Bengaluru. For instance, among their demands for safe pedestrian infrastructure, the residents of Okhalipuram have complained about the sub-standard quality of road of the Okalipuram signal-free corridor, the dumping of construction debris, weeds and garbage nearby and railway underpasses getting flooded due to poorly maintained drainage systems.

In an interview with Citizen Matters, incumbent MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao from Gandhinagar mentioned that he had been holding consultations with residents from various wards in the constituency to listen their concerns. “There are issues concerning traffic, garbage, and their own apartments where the developers haven’t done a good job. We have been able to speak with the residents and find solutions. But some of them are legal issues, which are tricky. Traffic is an issue for which everyone wants an independent solution, but we are trying to find a collective one” he says.

Incumbent MLA: Dinesh Gundu Rao, INC

Congress party’s Dinesh Gundu Rao has been the the MLA from Gandhinagar for five times in a row. One of the three sons of former Chief Minister of Karnataka R. Gundu Rao, he currently serves as the All Idian Congress Committee in-charge of Puducherry and Goa. He has served as the Minister of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs and Presdient of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Commitee. Formerly, he as also appointed as the General Secrearty and then then the President of Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress Committee.

He holds a B.E in Electronics and Communications from BMS College of Engineering, Bengaluru.

Work in the term

In the aforementioned interview, Dinesh Gundu Rao tells Citizen Matters of his achievemnts in the previous term as an MLA. “We have constructed a multi-level car park in Gandhinagar. While we haven’t been able to open it, the structure is ready. We wanted to introduce post graduation courses in the BBMP college on Magadi Road. We have received permission for the same, so now, from nursery to PG, there are classes in one institution. There was a slum with 40 houses in an unauthorised location. We have identified a place where the construction is underway and we are in the midst of shifting the slum inhabitants to pucca houses there.

In five wards (of Gandhinagar), we have been able to bring about improvements. But in the central business district of Chickpet, we need to improve the roads, access, and drainage. It needs comprehensive development as we have done in the Majestic area, including roads, footpaths, sanitation, water, etc.

Chickpet is not an easy area to work with because of the narrow lanes, the dense population, and the commercial and residential areas being together. Avenue and Cottonpet roads have been improved. The Sultanpet road, which was a huge problem, has now been upgraded. It will be inaugurated next week. BVK Iyengar Road needs more work, which is my main vision for the next term.”

In the news

  1. He recently shared the stage with BJP MP Tejaswi Surya in discussing about corruption in the poll-bound state, where he said the CM candidate will be selected only after Congress is voted into power; whereas Surya said Bommai is likely to continue as CM if he retains is seat.
  2. He also made remarks against the Bommai-led for focusing on “non-issues such as Halal, Hijab and the Tipu versus Savarkar debate,” while the city’s physical infrastructure crumbles. He had stated that the “Brand Bengaluru” was getting affected due to this.
  3. The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) leadership was reportedly upset over the legislator’s “staying the State Disciplinary Action Committee’s order suspending Nanguneri MLA Ruby R. Manoharan.”
  4. Following the recent arrest of BJP MLA Madal Virupaksha whose son was caught accepting a bribe, Dinesh Gundu Rao had remarked that “Corruption has been exposed. We were saying that the entire 40 per cent BJP government is looting the entire state.”

Questions raised in the Assembly

  1. He sought a response from the government concerning the reallocation of the the 14th Finance Commission’s common base grant which has been earmarked as “miscalleanous” in the BBMP budget, without approval of the government’s standing Committee and Council meeting
  2. He called the CM’s attention for allocating the playground at Jakkarayanakere for public sports activities.
  3. He, alongside Byatarayanapura’s MLA Krishna Byre Gowda, had questioned the government’s poor handling of COVID-19 and the irregularities in the purchase of medicines.
  4. He also demanded the government’s attention to the riots that broke out in DJ Halli, KJ Halli and Kaval Byrasandra that resulted in lives lost and people’s homes being damaged.
  5. He also voiced his intention to discuss the New Education Policy by the Centre

List of candidates

Incumbent MLA: Dinesh Gundu Rao, INC

  • Education: B.E Electronics and Communication, BMS College
  • Profession: MLA, Social Service, Agriculture
  • Online: Twitter -@dineshgrao; Instagram – @dineshgrao
  • Political experience:
  • Five-time MLA from Gandhinagar, elected in 1999. He is the All Indian Congress Committee in charge of Goa, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. He has also served as state Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs from 2015-16 and President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) in the past 
  • No pending criminal cases 

Wealth declaration 

DetailsHoldings in 2018Holdings in 2023Change in %
Movable AssetsRs. 1.16 crRs. 6.06 Cr422% increase
Immovable propertyRs 26 crRs. 42 Cr61% increase
LiabilitiesRs. 1.15 crRs. 6.31 Cr444% increase
TotalRs. 27.16 CrRs. 48.06 Cr 77% increase

Source: https://affidavit.eci.gov.in/

Candidate: AR Sapthagiri Gowda (BJP)

  • Profession: Entrepreneur
  • Online: Twitter- @sapthagirigowda, Instagram- @sapthagiri_gowda
  • Net worth: 23.30 crore
  • Political Experience: Secretary of BJP Bengaluru Central Business District

Candidate: V Narayana Swamy, JD(S)

  • Education: BA. LLB, Bengaluru University
  • Online: Facebook- V Narayana Swamy
  • Profession: Social worker
  • Net worth: 48.56 crore
  • Political Experience: NA

Full list of candidates  

https://affidavit.eci.gov.in/

Past election results

2018CandidateSexPartyAge (as in 2018)Vote Share (%)
1Dinesh Gundu RaoMaleINC4837.00%
2AR Sapthagiri GowdaMaleBJP3929.00%
3V. NarayanaswamyMaleJD(S)6329.00%

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