Bengaluru, May 12: While politicians cutting across party lines got busy attacking each other during the Karnataka Assembly election campaign, voters in the capital city, Bengaluru, have basic demands which unfortunately no leaders talked about in their public rallies.
On Saturday, as the voting for Assembly elections started early in the morning, residents of the IT hub came out in sizeable numbers and cast their votes. They also spoke to reporters about their issues and concerns, and on what basis they voted.
Most of them said that they voted for the party which will provide them freedom from nerve-wrecking city traffic, heaps of garbage on roadsides, pot-holed roads and water scarcity. Thus it is pretty clear that the political parties are mostly detached from the real issues concerning citizens as they spread lies, hate, bigotry and communalism in their speeches.
People in the city also want the new government to ensure safety of women and children. In the last few years, several children were allegedly sexually assaulted in city schools. Crimes against women in the city have also gone up in the last few years.
Debadutta Biswas, an IT professional, told OneIndia that he voted against corruption. When asked whom he voted for as both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are involved in corruption scandals, Biswas said he voted for the less corrupt party. The ambiguous answer left us confused but nonetheless it is clear that corruption too is an election issue in Karnataka.
Savitri Rani, a slum-dweller in the city, told OneIndia that she wants better housing facilities as her one-room home is on the verge of collapse. Another slum-dweller in the city, Mohan P, said that water scarcity is horrific in a Bommanahalli slum where he stays.
Media consultant Bhargavi K told OneIndia that if the new government doesn't solve the traffic issue in the city she would leave the IT hub forever and find a new job in a new city.
"The traffic is the city is horrible. I spend at least four hours in commute every day. That way I waste a lot of productive time and it leaves be very tired. My life has been badly hit by Bengaluru traffic," she lamented.
Rammohan Bhandari, a retired bank employee in Jayanagar, said that he wants to see the city garbage free. "I want good roads free of garbage," he added.
A total of 224 seats are up for grabs in the Karnataka elections. However, on Saturday, polling took place for only 222 seats. The voting in the two constituencies-- Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Jayanagar--both in Bengaluru--will take place later.
The Election Commission deferred polling to the Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency over "fake" electoral identity cards that were discovered on Tuesday. Polling in the constituency will now be held on May 28 and counting will take place on May 31.
However, the results of the rest of 222 seats will be out on May 15. Polling had earlier been countermanded in the Jayanagar constituency following the death of sitting BJP legislator BN Vijay Kumar a few days ago.
The main contest in the elections is between BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa and incumbent Congress chief minister Siddaramaiah. While Siddaramaiah is banking on his "good governance" to come back to power, Yeddyurappa is riding high on "anti-incumbency" wave to get the "hot seat" once again.
From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, almost all the top leaders from the national capital flew down to Karnataka to campaign for their respective parties.
The Karnataka election has been dubbed as the curtain raiser for the big 2019 General Elections. Unfortunately, in spite of so much hype surrounding the election, people's wishes and desires were literally thrown to the dustbin by politicians as they diverted from real issues during the campaign period.