Queen’s Road: A day after the BJP returned to power at the BBMP, managing to win 100 of 198 wards, citizens laid down some guidelines for the new councillors.
Here is what they told City Express
The election of women corporators is not a victory for gender rights, but rather a meeting of reservation norms. A lot of women have voted and their needs should be addressed by the women corporators. Revamping corporation maternity homes should be on the agenda of the BBMP. Domestic violence can be reduced by building de-addiction centres for drunk men who beat their wives. Women are responsible for household water, which is scarce. Locating and supplying water to such neighborhoods could also reduce the burden.
— Donna Fernandes,Women’s rights activist
Elections are just a Constitutional requirement. Bangalore needs more than the fulfilment of a governmental obligation. Only a full-scale rejuvenation will solve our crises. Shrinking footpaths is a big concern. Without footpaths, people end up walking on the roads. Kannadigas constitute less than 40 per cent of the population today, with an increasing influx of people from elsewhere. To protect their interests, we need to reserve land for Kannadigas with reduced property rates.
— Dr S Japhet, Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion, National Law School of India University
I am unable to fathom why citizens brought back to power those who had let them down. Nothing was accomplished during the BJP’s last term and I don’t see much being done this time around. We need to live up to the metro tag and make strides. Garbage clearance needs to be mechanised.
— Seema Sathyu, artist
Chief Minister Siddaramiah should have focused on what he wants to do for Bengaluru, and not on what the BJP did when it was ruling the BBMP. He made many appearances in the last two months to win votes, without being consistent through the year. People have shown their anger towards the Congress by voting back the BJP. As a citizen, I would like to see the city’s roads being laid to perfection. We should be able to compare our roads to those in world-class big cities.
— Ashwin Kumar Political strategist
For the first time in my life, I went up to the voting booth and did not vote. I saw candidates from the BJP, the Congress and the JD(S) and nothing about them made me want to cast my vote. I also heard how two of the candidates had sold their land and homes to ‘buy’ tickets, and how they had bribed disadvantaged voters to win votes. I hear we are the world’s largest democracy but just what kind of a democracy are we? This is a fake democracy and I just could not bring myself to be a part of what was going on.
— Nimi Ravindran Theatre personality
I don’t see this as a complete loss for the Congress. They have gone up from 65 in 2010 to 75 in 2015. The BJP has lost about that many seats although it still has a majority--which may come as a shock to many, considering the scandals that plagued the BBMP over the past few years. Yet, the BJP is basically a city-based party, so the victory is not unexpected. The fact that BJP holds power at the Centre also may have helped. Garbage disposal is a key area, as evident from the Mandur conflict. Even during the time of Harappa and Mohenjodaro some 4,000 years ago, sewage systems were up and working.Footpaths and bicycle paths shouldbe the next area of concern. Progress and development can be achieved not through constructing buildings and roads but by improving the conditions for pedestrians and others who travel by public and non-mechanical ways of transport. Finally, the BBMP has a series of schools and colleges under its jurisdiction but has failed to maintain academic standards there. Many students are from backward and poor communities, which makes funding and access to resources a matter of grassroots uplift.
— Chetan Actor
This is a direct message to Siddaramaiah
to work for the city’s development. It is not the party but the individual who wins votes in municipal elections. The BJP won because of Modi’s popularity.The city needs better roads and more efficient garbage disposal. People consider these government issues. Private companies abroad pay the government to take garbage and generate power. Here the government pays money to clear the garbage, but is still not able to solve the problem. Whereever ministers live, the roads are tarred once in three months. In other localities, roads don’t exist at all. Corporation schools must be improved, because they shape the future of poor children.
— Indrajit Lankesh Film director