BENGALURU: Mahadevapura, home to India’s first IT park at Whitefield, is witnessing a clash of biggies — the Congress and BJP. Byrathi Basavaraj, Congress MLA from KR Puram and close confidant of Chief Minster Siddaramaiah, is leading the battle and is determined to checkmate the rise of local BJP MLA and former minister Aravind Limbavali.
Though considered a Congress bastion with the party winning seven of the eight wards — Hoodi, Garudarcharpalya, Kadugodi, Hagaduru, Marathalli, Varthur and Bellandur — in the 2010 BBMP polls, the rapid rise of BJP in recent years is giving Congress sleepless nights. Sreedhar Reddy was the lone BJP corporator from this segment.
Hoskote MLA M T B Nagaraj, another close confidant of the Chief Minister, has big stakes as his son B N Nitish Purushotham is the party candidate from Garudacharpalya. The ward caused a few worries for Nagaraj as his brother N Pillappa, a former corporator, entered the fray as a rebel candidate. Nagaraj has succeeded in getting his brother to withdraw from contest and has joined hands with Byrathi Basavaraj to launch a Congress blitzkrieg on BJP with a vow to sweep all the eight wards.
With polling day approaching fast, Congress and BJP are holding road shows, roping in stars and doing every bit to woo the voters.
Limbavali has ensured his close confidant Sreedhar Reddy, who is cash-rich, got the ticket. Reddy became the only BJP winner here last time by capturing Doddanekkundi ward. The party heaved a sigh of relief as he could be accommodated this time despite the reservation category coming into effect.
Water supply and bad roads that are the key demands and growing BJP wave in the wards may force Congress to sweat it out for a win. Hoodi is the political springboard for Byrathi Basavaraj, and he is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the candidate’s victory.
Once a sleepy agriculture village, Mahadevapura today has evolved as an IT hub — a number of tech parks are located here. While land owners in Hoodi, Marathahalli, Kadugodi depended on agriculture, poor villagers used to make a living by rearing goats and cows. The economically weaker sections have become rich overnight, thanks to the IT boom. Thousands of hectares of agricultural land made way for the construction of multi-storied buildings, IT parks, commercial complexes and residential apartment blocks.
However, in a few areas of Kadugudi, Varthur and Bellandur, a few farmers still grow vegetables and paddy around the Bellandur Lake.
The narrow road of uneven surface that connected Old Madras Road and Whitefield via Mahadevapura is now a four-lane that is one of the busiest roads in the city
The constituency boasts of Varthur and Bellandur lakes. But both lakes made headlines recently after the frothy polluted water caught fire. The heavy flow of sewage into the lakes had led to the accumulation of methane and oil, causing the fire.
This apart, bad roads, pollution due to dust on main roads and water scarcity are major concerns.