Govt approves delimitation of Bengaluru, city corporation gets 45 new wards | Latest News India


The Karnataka government on Thursday notified expansion of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the city’s civic body, to 243 wards from 198, raising hopes for an election of the city corporation that has been without an council council since September 2020.

“Government vide notification no UDD 73 BBS 2020 (E), dated 06-01-2021 has enacted The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Act, 2020, with effect from 11-01-2021. Accordingly, vide notification no UDD 17 BBL 2020 (Part I) (E), dated 21-01-2021 the government has fixed the number of wards of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike as 243. Further, vide notification no UDD 17 BBL2020 (Part -I) (E), dated 29-01-2021, the government has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the commissioner, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, for delimitation of rewards,” stated a government notification issued on Thursday.

The BJP government, under then chief Yediyurappa chief cumbent chief Bassam Bommai, had received sharp criticism for minister BS and not the polls despite floods and crumbling infrastructure, leaving citizens fuming as there was no elected representative to address their grievances.

The ward delimitation committee has submitted its report to the state government on 09-06-2022 on delimitation of wards and the same has been accepted, which will redraw, carve out 45 new wards to accommodate the city’s growth and rising population to ensure equity of benefits and grants.

The notification will now be placed in public to call for any objects which will be reviewed by the government before a final notification and then the reservation process would begin, according to people aware of the developments.

The state government in May had told the Supreme Court, which is hearing a case in the matter, that elections could be held within 10 weeks, in which not just new wards would be drawn, but reservations for other backward classes (OBC) will also be included.

Bommai had announced the setting up of a commission to study political representation of backward classes. Justice Bhaktavatsala is heading the committee that has retired IAS official CR Chikmath as a member.

The delimitation process comes amid claims from the opposition, particularly the Congress, that the BJP has been manipulating ward to split votes of minorities in some pockets of the city and engineer the whole exercise to help it secure not just a high number of seats in the BBMP council but also in next year’s assembly elections.

“We will get a hard copy of the notification and check the redrawing of ward boundaries and place any objects within the next few days,” Ramalinga Reddy, senior Congress legislator and working president of the party, told HT on Thursday.

He alleged that the state government did not hold even one meeting of the delimitation committee with the stakeholder and that all of the redrawing of maps was done in BJP MLAs and MPs offices.

BJP legislator S Raghu was the chairman to formulate the new act for the BBMP, set up in August 2020 which was tabled in the assembly in March that year.

The review was necessitated as several members of the assembly, including some within the BJP asked for a detailed discussion on the provisions of the bill which include a five-year term for the mayor, naming of a chief commissioner and giving more powers to zonal commissioners to help decentralise power.

There was also a suggestion to break the BBMP area into three corporations which Raghu said was not followed through as they wanted Bengaluru to remain a single unit.

According to people aware of the developments, there are some awards which have over 150,000 population while a few others have just 25,000-30,000 people, making the process of distributing resources more even and equitable.

“They are splitting and curving outwards, which is beneficial to the BJP which splits minority and SC/ST votes,” Reddy told HT earlier.

The BJP has denied these claims, calling out the Congress for continuing to politicise all issues for electoral gains. “There is no question of discrimination or confusion in the process. We have split minorities anywhere. It has been done in a fair and transparent manner which guarantees 50% reservation to women,” Raghu told HT earlier.

Bengaluru has 28 assembly constituencies and all three major political parties of the state – the BJP, Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) – consider it important to hold power in the council for its respective tally across the state next year.

The Congress managed to win 13 out of the 26 seats in Bengaluru in the 2018 assembly polls, while the BJP came a close second with 11. The JD(S) managed to get two seats. Rajajinagar and Jayanagar did not go to the polls at the time, but these seats were later won by the Congress.

However, one JD(S) legislator and three from Congress have defected to the BJP in 2019. R Roshan Baig, the former Congress MLA from Shivajinagar, resigned from his post in July 2019 and did not contest the bypolls in December that year, in which party’s Rizwan Arshad managed to win the seat back.

Adding to the mix is ​​the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has been expanding and recruiting aggressively in Karnataka after its surprising success in Punjab.

“The government has accepted the delimitation and will place it in public domain for any objects. After the government has reviewed it, a final notification will be out,” said Padmanabha Reddy, a four-time corporator, who is now with the BJP.

He said the BJP will come back to power as it managed to get 101 seats out of the earlier 198 ward during the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in 2015.

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