Governance

A series of bomb blasts ripped through Bangalore this afternoon. Scores of citizens and students alike, shocked and worried, pulled ahead their evening commute to get back home earlier. The blast scene at the back corner of the bus stand at Madiwala checkpost, on Hosur Road in south Bangalore, at 4.30 p.m. on 25 July. Pic: Subramaniam Vincent. The bus stand at Madiwala checkpost on Hosur Road in south Bangalore was the scene of one of the blasts, and this is also the location where one woman died, the city police have confirmed. Injured citizens from this blast scene were…

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The first BJP government in the South - how do you feel about that? Since the day BSY took office as the Chief Minister, I've asked many people this question. And I've got two kinds of answers. Some people believe that the party can give governance in Karnataka a much needed boost of governance, and help the state attain a position of economic leadership among the southern states. The comparison to Gujarat is made often, perhaps because the government itself has made references to this. And there is plenty of optimism that BSY can - similarly to Narendra Modi -…

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"I buy rice at market prices. I cannot afford to pay so much for food grains. My family is always hungry and I still do not have a BPL Card," says Parvathi, a construction worker in her mid forties earning daily wages. She lives in Srinivas Nagar and is unable to get a BPL card though she claims to be eligible for one. Parvathi complains that her application was never processed properly and she was given an APL card.This is not just a case with a few construction workers in the city. It includes a lot of people we meet…

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This Monday, 2nd June, newly elected Jayanagar MLA, B N Vijaya Kumar interacted with residents in a meeting organised by the Jayanagar 5th Block Residents Welfare Association to felicitate him.In his first programme after the elections, he thanked voters for electing him with a large margin (his winning margin was 22594 votes, with a voter turnout of 48%) Vijaya Kumar told the residents that he will ensure all public department officials work towards solving citizens' issues. He also promised to arrange regular meetings where citizens can interact with officials to address the problems. He urged residents to be proactive and…

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The media which prodded every Bangalorean to make a difference to the city’s future by simply voting in the just concluded assembly elections has done a great job. Sadly, the media does not know that it has done a great job. This is because, it has failed to read beyond the voting turnout number given by the Election Commission. Headlines like ‘middle class apathy’ to a meager turnout of 44 percent are plain wrong. In fact, the turnout may be as high as 80 percent. Ramesh Ramanathan, the urban affairs expert and founder of Janaagraha, notes in a column, that…

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Throughout their election campaigning, two of the major political parties in Karnataka, the Congress and the BJP said they will review the Capital Value Scheme (CVS) for taxing properties in Bangalore. Their representatives said so in various meetings held with different citizens' groups. Screen shot of a section of the home page of the BBMP website's www.bmponline.org. A message on paying property taxes runs from right to left on top of the screen. "Most of the parties have come out against the scheme," says Col. Mathew Thomas, general secretary of Citizen Actions' Forum (CAF). However, "Only the BJP has made…

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Yes, I voted, with a name that was not only spelt wrong, but strangely had an extra word as well - "Meja Pramod Kumar".Over two months ago, I had submitted the form for changing the errors in my name to the ARO, and had got his signed receipt. When I applied for the ID card last month, I realised my name was still listed incorrectly. To avoid missing a chance to vote, I got the same name printed on my ID card. (Now that this election is over, I need to start the process of applying for corrections in the…

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When I heard that Dr Manmohan Singh was coming to Bangalore and would address a citizens' meeting at Chowdiah memorial hall on 8 May, I was very keen to attend. What other chance would I have to see...or even meet..the prime minister of my country? This man was an academician, a man of learning; and he was one of the leaders I could look up to...a rarity in the present political scenario. Rajeev Gowda, a professor of IIM-Bangalore alerted me to this event first and said that it was going to be a citizens' meeting with the PM. This was…

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Why did I vote?

Yes, I voted couple of days back, as on many other occasions. And I am proud to be one of the only 44% Bangaloreans who voted. Now, why did I vote? I voted because I strongly believe that I have no right to complain about the system if I do not participate in the process of voting. While this sounds cliched, an important incentive for me is that I also believe that unless enough consumer resistance comes up, the system is not going to improve. So I believe in voting, and complaining and in being happy occasionally when I see…

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The first time I ever voted was in these elections. I've lived in Bangalore for 8 years and I figured I've lived here long enough to be eligible to vote. This was before I found you that you only need to be in a place for about 6 months before you're eligible. I wish someone had told me that. In fact, I wish someone had told me a lot of things because I asked the questions, I just didn't get any right answers. So I got out this time. Determined to register, come hell or high water because I'm so…

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