Whom to vote for is a big dilemma for many in the city this time, thanks to questions like what to do with ‘good’ candidates contesting from ‘not so good’ parties.
For some voters, national issues matter more than local, while for others, it is a question of good candidates. Issues of corruption, infrastructure, connectivity, garbage management too figure on the minds of many voters even though this is a Parliamentary election.
For well-known industrialist and B.Pac founder Kiran Majumdar, it is a tough call. “Based in Electronics City, I have to vote for a good candidate in Bangalore Rural who will be effective and do the right thing. By the process of elimination, I have to make my choice for the best candidate and the right party,” she says. “The citizens have to vote with a conscience either for the candidate who promises change or the party which will bring in a change. Either way, it is a difficult decision.”
Senior media analyst K S Achyuthan who is voting in Bangalore North, says, “For me, in Parliamentary elections, national issues are important. But nowadays, even the MP has to take care of grassroots level facilities and not just leave it to the corporators or the MLAs.”
He says he has tested both the BJP and the Congress, national parties “steeped in corruption”.
“This time, I have an alternative to choose from. With corruption haunting us day in and day out, I will vote correctly and fulfill my democratic obligations,” he said.
The Kannada literary world has always been vocal about its choices, aspirations and expectations and Nallur Prasad, who heads the Bangalore Sahitya Parishat, says more people will vote this time.
“Awareness is high and this augurs well for democracy. Based in Uttarhalli, I will be voting for the Bangalore Rural candidate, however, I have hardly seen any of the candidates campaigning in our area. I will exercise my franchise in a manner that will benefit the country in the long run,” he said.
Noted Kannada poet N S Lakshminarayan Bhat will vote for change in Bangalore South.
“The party is more important than the individual.” On the other hand, K Nissar Ahmed, well-known poet, said, “I will vote but I don’t want to comment on my choice.”
Arundathi Nag, well-known theatre personality who was away for 15 days and missed the heat and dust of the campaigning in Bangalore, says, “I know all the candidates and it is not a difficult choice as far as I am concerned. However, the Supreme Court decision granting equal status to transgenders, which was overdue, is fantastic and a great opportunity for the community.”
Choice of NOTA
But how many are aware of NOTA (None of the above) option is the moot question. Sushila, a maid servant who lives in Arehalli (Bangalore Rural) with five votes in the family, is in a dilemma as she is neither aware of the identity of the candidates nor knows about NOTA.
“Nobody has come to ask for votes or canvassed in the last few weeks. I wish I could reject all of them as none of the parties do anything for the urban poor,” she said.
Noted writer and author of the best selling novel Idris, Anita Nair says she would have opted for NOTA if it had some relevance.
“One vote less will not make a difference to the winning candidate. None of the candidates are good in Bangalore Central but since I need to vote as a citizen, I may choose the least of the evils,” she said.
Anita Nair is researching on human trafficking, and says poverty is the main reason for this problem in Bangalore. “Now, I am not sure how any of these parties, if they come to power will make any difference,” she said.
Former advocate-general B V Acharya will be exercising his franchise at Jayamahal for the Bangalore North seat. He said, “NOTA is of no consequence and it makes no difference.”