Tuesday, January 31, 2006


The government’s changed hands. Does it mean anything at all? What do Bangaloreans want from the new team?
The Times of India

Shashi Deshpande, writer:
I’m not happy at all. It’s a badly patchedup kind of group, so it’s unlikely it will work, it has come together in such an unethical way. There’s a huge deception behind the whole thing. We all knew politics was a lot of bunkum, but now we clearly see it’s all bunkum. Do they think we voters are morons?
What do I expect from the leadership? There’s going to be a lot of infighting. The BJP’s not going to be happy, soon it will feel shortchanged. The new leadership seems raw, there’s no experience. I’m afraid there’s going to be a lot of greed. I’d have preferred fresh elections, because voters definitely feel cheated. I think alliances must be formed before the elections. I don’t trust those after. I’m so angry.

Suresh Heblikar,
These changes are destabilising factors. People have lost faith in the system. Change is good, but not in 15 months.
Karnataka has been a leading state — with its advances in IT, BT and culture. So leaders must have sound knowledge, experience and vision. I don’t know if the new team has all this. Sometimes, I have been tempted to field a political team made up of young enthusiastic doctors, engineers and lawyers. Many Indians have come back from abroad and want to work for India. Those are the kind who should govern us.

Lathika Pai, entrepreneur:
I am indifferent to the current changes. As long as infrastructure’s improved, there should be no complaints. But one must remember that some momentum’s been achieved, like the international airport. This should not be lost.
I’d like to wait and watch. My only wish is that this new group wakes up to the voices that are raising questions on the city. I was in the US recently and every important person I met there asked: “What has happened to your city?” What’s taken 20 years to build can be brought down in 20 months.

Ashish Ballal, former hockey international:
I’m happy with any change as there was no governance earlier to speak of. Now we’ll have a youthful chief minister, I hope the emphasis will be on infrastructure. More emphasis needs to be given to sport and fitness.

Harish Bijoor, brand consultant:
Anything new in a democracy is positive. What is being proposed is a unique formula: a 20-month government in rotation. This is an opportunity to judge which government has done the most. When the elections come, we’ll be ready to vote for the best team.
I expect a great deal of Bangalore-centricity which was lost so far. Bangalore’s image had shot up under SM Krishna. The new government should give that back. Bangalore today is perceived as a work-in-progress city especially the highways and flyovers. I expect attention to urban governance.

Madhu Natraj, dancer: It’s been a time of instability. Now one can probably hope for some stability and progress. We would also like a corruptionfree government, though it may just remain a hope. The previous government didn’t even have a ministry for culture; hopefully this one does.

Munira Sen, social activist: Change is always good. But I’m a bit nervous because of the BJP; it’s their first time in Karnataka, and it’s a backdoor entry. I’d like more participation from citizens. I’d also like to see infrastructure projects expedited.

Girish Kasaravalli, filmmaker:
No government has done anything noteworthy. They have all been the same. Successive governments have only been trying to do the ‘balancing act’. We need a leader, a visionary. Whoever is at the helm has to have an approach that ensures all round development.

Upendra, actor:
A lot of people are unhappy with the way things went in the last few weeks. It now remains to be seen what the change in leadership will bring. I expect better roads, better infrastructure. As for leadership, the fact that Kumaraswamy is young is promising. I want a strict and corruption-free government.


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