Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wives are proxies for leaders

Wives are proxies for leaders
Poornima Nataraj,Bangalore, Mar 22, DHNS

Few residents of BTM Layout know that the name of their area is actually Byrasandra, Tavarekere and Madivala Layout. Formed by the Bangalore Development Authority by notifying the three villages a couple of decades ago, the Layout is now an upmarket residential area.

An Assembly constituency after the delimitation, BTM Layout includes the upmarket Koramangala and the fast-developing Jakkasandra. But all the eight wards face civic problems like any other area in the capital.

BTM layout assembly constituency was carved out during the delimitation by the Kuldeep Singh Commission. Later, further delimitation for the BBMP election gave it eight wards. Although Ramalinga Reddy of the Congress won the legislative seat in the last election, in the ensuing BBMP poll, the Congress does not have an upper hand in all the eight wards.

Three - Ejipura, Koramangala and Jakkasandrawards are reserved for women, leaving Lakkasandra, Audugodi, Suddugunte Palya, Madiwala and BTM Layout in the general category.

Although three wards are reserved for women, the male domination is casting its heavy shadow.

In Ejipura ward, reserved for women, it is a proxy fight between male leaders of the major parties who have fielded their wives. H G Lakshmi, the BJP nominee is wife of Ejipura BJP President C Gundappa. Congress candidate P M Saroja is wife of K G Veerappa, a Congress leader. Jayashree is the JD (S) candidate.

Located next to Koramangala, the ward is plagued with problems. There is large scale illegal encroachments. Burgeoning population has led to water shortage. G Raju, a resident claims that the water shortage is artificially created with BWSSB staff colluding with private water suppliers, creating a shortage and thereby business for the water suppliers. The poor are the victims, says Raju.

Are the women contestants able to take up the issues effectively? M V K Anil Kumar ofAshwini Layout is sceptical. He feels that the women candidates have not been groomed properly by their parties. The two heavyweight women are, however challenged by some of their less fortunate sisters from the Dravidian parties, particularly as the ward has asizeable Tamil-speaking population.

Step into the neighbouring Koramangala (ward 151) and you feel that you are stepping into an upmarket area. But Koramangala village (8th block) has many lower middle class and poor families living.

Dr B Sarojamma, a gynaecologist says the water supply is inadequate. But Bhagyamma, the BJP candidate and former corporator argues that she had initiated much improvement of infrastructure in the area. Bhagyamma is taking on Congress nominee B N Kokila, a political greenhorn.

Elsewhere, In BTM Layout (Ward 176), the fight appears direct - between the BJP and the Congress. But the BJP candidate, H K Muthappa has a thorn in his side, K Devadas, a BJP rebel in fray as an independent. Adugodi (Ward 147) has a mix of lower and middle class population. Former corporator Mohan is contesting on BJP ticket. His rival is Murugesh of the Congress. Sumathi is the JD (S) nominee. In Suddagunte Palya, the Congress and BJP candidates are locked in a fierce fight, while in Jakkasandra, the JD (S) is campaigning briskly.

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