Voting begins for Bangalore civic body polls
Voting has begun in Bangalore to elect a 198-member civic body from some 1,300 candidates who include doctors, a transgender and people with criminal cases. More than 6.6 million Bangaloreans are eligible to cast their vote.india Updated: Mar 28, 2010 10:18 IST
Voting has begun in Bangalore to elect a 198-member civic body from some 1,300 candidates who include doctors, a transgender and people with criminal cases. More than 6.6 million Bangaloreans are eligible to cast their vote.
There is a Queen Elizabeth fighting on Congress ticket. Another woman contestant, Marimuthu, dubbed 'Hooch Queen' for alleged involvement in illicit liquor trade, has been fielded by the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has nominated four with criminal records, the Congress eight and the JD-S seven. The three parties have justified their nomination saying only cases have been filed against them and none has been pronounced guilty.
The BJP is contesting in 197 wards, the Congress in 196 and JD-S in 194. The rest of the candidates are independents or belong to smaller parties.
All three parties have promised 24-hour power and water supply, better roads, drainage, street lights, slum clearance and other welfare measures to woo the voters.
The Congress has gone a step further with the promise of one free meal a day to the poor and the differently-abled (handicapped people).
The issues for voters have been almost constant for more than a decade now - better roads, end to traffic jams, uninterrupted power, adequate drinking water, better policing and check on corruption in civic bodies.
The Sunday election, the third major poll in Karnataka in two years, is seen by the three major parties as a prestige issue.
The BJP wants to rule Bangalore after capturing power in the state in the May 2008 and bagging 19 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the April-May 2009 polls.
The Congress is desperate for a morale boosting victory as it has been a down the hill story for it since it lost power in 2004.
The JD-S wants a good show in Bangalore to get over the tag of a party with support base only in rural areas.
The elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike or Greater Bangalore City Corporation are being held after a three-year delay.
Since November 2006, the city has been ruled by administrators appointed by the government as elections were put off to rework the wards to keep pace with Bangalore's expansion.
The Bangalore City Corporation, which had 100 elected corporators till 2006, became Greater Bangalore City Corporation in April 2007 with the merger of neighbouring areas which had their own City Municipal Councils until then.
Over 30,000 policemen are on duty to ensure peaceful polling in over 6,400 polling booths. Around 1,600 booths are considered hyper-sensitive - prone to violence or irregularities during voting.