Ruling BJP has increased the number of wards in constituencies they have a hold on, says Cong MLA

Ruling BJP has increased the number of wards in constituencies they have a hold on, says Cong MLA

Bengaluru: Opposition Congress has come down heavily on the draft of the delimitation of 243 wards in the city, notified by the state government calling for objections on Thursday. Terming it “politically motivated” and calling it a draft “prepared at RSS office”, they have hinted at challenging it legally if their objections are not heeded to and suitable changes made. This has again put a question mark over the civic polls being held shortly. 

“Only three constituencies — Shivajinagar, Chamarajpet and Jayanagar — all three with a significant minority population, have seen a reduction in the number of wards. It is very clear that these constituencies have been targeted,” said Rizwan Arshad, MLA, Shivajinagar. “We will study the draft carefully and submit our objections. If the government doesn’t heed them, we will have no option but to approach the court challenging the draft,” he said. 

“Almost all constituencies represented by BJP have seen a spike in the number of wards, even where not warranted. For instance, core city constituencies like Basavanagaudi and C. V. Raman Nagar have seen an increase by two wards each, which is hard to explain. While constituencies like Bommanahalli and R. R. Nagar have seen a huge spike, constituencies with a dense population represented by the Congress like Sarvagnanagar have seen only a marginal increase in the number of wards. It is very clear the ruling BJP has increased the number of wards in constituencies they have a hold on, to ensure an upper hand in the BBMP council,” said Krishna Byre Gowda, MLA, Byatarayanapura. 

As per the existing 198 wards, 106 wards — 55% — are in the 15 constituencies represented by BJP. However, under the new delimitation, 145 of the 243 wards — 60% — are in the same 15 constituencies represented by BJP.

‘Clear aim to help BJP’

Another senior Congress leader said that in violation of rules, voter blocks have been shifted from one Assembly constituency to another in around eight areas across the city, providing grounds for a legal challenge. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee working president Ramalinga Reddy, MLA, BTM Layout, said due process was not followed in delimitation of wards and dubbed the draft an “RSS draft”.

“During earlier exercises of delimitation, revenue officers in each assembly constituency were involved in drawing up the boundaries of the wards. This time, no such exercise has been carried out. How did the delimitation committee arrive at these new wards without a local officer’s work? This is a draft prepared by BJP in Keshava Krupa and it is evident. They have cut up wards without contiguity with a clear aim to help BJP,” he alleged.

N. R. Ramesh, Bengaluru South District president, BJP, rubbished allegations that the delimitation draft was politically motivated. “Did the Congress also do a politically motivated delimitation exercise last time? The exercise has been impartial and carried out by bureaucrats without any political interference,” he said.

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