Countdown to counting: Bangaloreans hope for strong leaders

May 15th, 2009 - 10:36 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, May 15 (IANS) As the countdown begins for the verdict of the 15th Lok Sabha elections, voters in India’s IT hub are hoping they will get strong leaders who can help the city overcome the problems of economic slowdown and lack of civic amenities.
“Bangalore is facing the heat of the economic slowdown. Only strong leaders will be able to tackle the issue. Civic amenities like water and electricity supply are also a major concern,” septuagenarian Amar Kumar, a retired government employee and resident of J.P. Nagar, told IANS.

Dinanath Mohan, a senior executive with an IT firm, said Bangalore has suffered heavily due to the global recession with lot of IT and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies laying off employees.

“There is no data available on the number of IT and BPO professionals who have lost jobs in recent times. But it is a fact that the impact of recession has been huge. Under such circumstances, we want a strong leadership to tackle the matter seriously and do the needful to avoid huge losses for the industry,” said Mohan.

“Civic amenities and infrastructure, mostly roads, are also in shambles,” he added.

Around 600,000 people work in the IT and ITES (IT enabled services) industries in Bangalore.

Of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka, three are in the capital - Bangalore Central, Bangalore South and Bangalore North.

Bangalore Central saw a triangular battle between Congress leader and former cop H.T. Sangliana, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) P.C. Mohan and B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).

Along with BJP’s H.N. Anantha Kumar, four time winner of the South Bangalore constituency, the other prominent names vying for the prestigious constituency are Krishna Byre Gowda of the Congress, low-cost airline pioneer captain G.R.

Gopinath (independent) and educationist turned politician K.E. Radhakrishna of the JD-S.

Bangalore North saw D.B. Chandre Gowda of the BJP locking horns with Congress veteran C.K. Jaffer Sharief and R. Surendra Babu of the JD-S.

Asked which party do they think will get maximum seats, most voters said they were not bothered about the victory of any party but would like to see strong and upright leaders get elected.

“If a politician is strong enough, he will definitely fulfil all his duties and responsibilities. It hardly matters whether he is from the Congress, BJP or JD-S. We are not bothered about what political affiliations the winners have. We want them to work for overall progress of the city,” said bank employee Prabin Mehta, who has been living here for the past 15 years.

Although Bangaloreans are wishing that they get able leaders, they fared poorly when it came to voting.

On April 23, when Bangalore voted for three of its constituencies, only 46.66 percent of the electorate exercised their franchise.

“Bangaloreans want good governance and leaders. There is nothing wrong with their wishes. But when it came to voting, they shied away from their responsibility. Due to the lackadaisical attitude of the people, the city might end up choosing the wrong leaders,” observed Sandeep Shastri, senior political analyst.

Counting of the votes will be held Saturday.

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