BENGALURU: The vast Bangalore South Assembly constituency with the largest electorate in the state is witnessing a turf war among the local Vokkaliga satraps.
M Krishnappa of the BJP is the local MLA of this constituency where Vokkaligas are a decisive force electorally. With a predominantly rural landscape which has started getting urban amenities, the constituency was the political backyard of former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok. Large parts of the constituency have been carved out of the earlier Uttarahalli, which was earlier represented by Ashok.
The constituency, now coming under Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha and which was won by D K Suresh of Congress, is witnessing the rise of the party with his brother and Energy minister D K Shiva Kumar striving to expand his political base.
JD(S) leaders H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy too hold sway here.
The constituency has seven wards, of which four have been bagged by the Congress and three by the BJP. The wards are Uttarahalli, Yelachenahalli, Begur, Gottigere, Konanakunte, Anjanapura and Vasanthpura. It also includes five zilla panchayats and 10 gram panchayats.
The biggest constituency (in terms of voters) has big problems. Located on the fringes of the city, the constituency has hardly seen any development.
The most common grouse of the residents is the poor drinking water supply. Shockingly, many wards get drinking water only once in a month, while the average period for drinking water supply is once in 15-20 days. It comes as no surprise that the residents of the constituency are disillusioned with the councillors.
When Express visited Vasanthpura, residents pointed to a well from where they have been drawing drinking water. The well is choked with waste, plastic bottles, insects and other trash.
“It is pathetic. These people come and beg us for votes before the elections and vanish after that. Shame on them. We will not vote this time,” says Chandrashekharaiah, a resident.
Areas like Begur are disconnected from the city. The roads are in a pathetic condition and the ward is quite dirty. Piles of garbage are found everywhere.
Gottigere has a different problem. Residents say that the ferocious stray dogs tend to attack anybody who passes by. “It is as if we don’t exist at all. We are living in slum-like conditions,” rues 76-year-old Seethamma, a resident of Gottigere.
At Konanakunte, it is a different scene. Though the area has its share of common problems, residents are concerned about the Konanakunte Lake, and demand its revival.
Many areas have been in the news for land encroachments. The encroachment of forest land in Turahalli, Uttarahalli hobli, is indicative of how critical an issue land encroachment has become in these parts of Bengaluru.