The Bharatiya Janata Party, which had been opposing growing demands for longer night life in Bangalore, now says it will allow bars to serve liquor till midnight and eating joints to remain open till 1 a.m. from the present closing time, i.e. 11.30 p.m., for both.
There has been growing demand for allowing bars and restaurants to remain open well past midnight as Bangalore has become the country's IT hub, employing thousands of youth not only from the state, but across the country. The city has also become home to hundreds of foreigners, both students and working people.
The promise is contained in a manifesto for Bangalore the party released this week, ahead of polling, and two weeks after the release of its main manifesto April 19.
The change in BJP's stand in the matter, appears to have been prompted by the desire to woo young voters in Bangalore, which sends 28 representatives to the 225-member assembly. The BJP had won 17 of the 28 seats in the 2008 assembly polls.
Apparently, it is unsure of retaining the seats in view of the party-controlled Bangalore civic body's failure to find a solution to the mounting garbage mess, apart from the city's worsening infrastructure problem. The garbage problem had become both national and international news in the second half of last year as thousands of tonnes of wet waste were left rotting across the city for weeks, in several areas, making life miserable for people who had to live with the stink.
A lasting solution has not emerged and garbage piles can still be seen in many parts of the city.
Incidentally the Congress, the main challenger to BJP in the poll and which is credited with turning Bangalore into a tech hub during its rule in 1999-2004, has not come out with a separate manifesto for the city, nor does it talk of extended time for bars and restaurants in its manifesto.