Monday, November 23, 2009

Resident groups to contest BBMP elections

Resident groups to contest BBMP elections
G Manjusainath, Nov 22, Bangalore:

In a reflection of people’s loss of faith in politicians, many Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) in Bangalore have decided to field their own candidates in the forthcoming elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

As of now, the residents’ associations have zeroed in on more than 100 candidates in the City.

Fed up with the appalling condition of roads, mountains of garbage, the stray dog menace and the general civic mess, the RWAs are set to take things into their own hands in a bid to usher in a new order.
Whether they will be able to beat the system and the machinations of politicians is another matter.

The idea of fielding candidates in the civic polls is not new, but having observed the BBMP with and without politicians, many RWAs now feel that an upright public representative is far better than a politician.

Abhyudaya, a Federation of some 35 RWAs with around 400 volunteers, the Malleswaram Federation with some 20 RWAs and some RWAs at Konanakunte have already identified candidates who would be contesting the civic elections. The Bangalore Chapter of the Citizens’ Action Forum (CAF), which is emerging as a school of politics for “Mr and Mrs Clean” is offering a platform to groom candidates so that he or she can be in a winnable position.
Talking to Deccan Herald, Dr Meenakshi Bharath of the CAF, said the forum was founded to cleanse the political system, which can only be done at the grassroots level.

She too is gearing up to contest the BBMP election from Malleswaram. “I have got the backing of the RWAs and the residents of my area,” said Dr Meenakshi. The CAF will help candidates in electioneering by roping in all the RWAs.
Abhyudaya will field candidates in all the eight wards of the Padmanabhanagar assembly constituency. It has already identified all the candidates.

“By contesting election, we want to prove that money is not the driving force. We have been serving the masses voluntarily. Now through gaining power we will be able to serve people more effectively. If we keep on allowing greedy people to become our representatives they will indulge more and more in amassing wealth,” said Mukunda. However, there are RWAs which do not think the CAF or Abhyudaya way. Keshava Kumar, general secretary of the Federation of Jayanagar RWAs, has apprehensions that politicians who are denied tickets by their parties may join RWAs to contest the election under the RWAs’ banner. But Dr Meenakshi dispelled such apprehensions on the ground that people are familiar with active RWAs and their candidates.
DH News Service


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