Kemmannu News Network, 21-04-2013 07:30:56


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Obituary: Lalitha Poojarthy age 71 years, W/O Sanjeeva Poojary, Lower Kemmannu, Nidambali Road, Mudu Thonse Village, M/O of Savithri, Chadravathi, harish and Santhosh.

Funeral to be announced soon

Contact: 9448252413

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Lok Satta candidates adopt Hindutva, anti-women, casteist positions

The Lok Satta Party, which is set to make its debut in the Karnataka Assembly elections, promising “clean” politics, has run into rough weather already with three of its candidates taking public positions that appear to run counter to the party’s stated ideological vision and standpoint.

Phanisai Bhardwaj, the party’s candidate for Bangalore South Assembly constituency, has said on his Facebook page: “Apolish [abolish] reservation for particular community in education as well as jobs.” The comment was on a digitally altered photograph posted by him showing two lanes of a road. One is clogged with traffic, while the other is completely free from traffic. The empty road has one man, identified as “SC,ST” walking past stationary vehicles on the other road. The road clogged with traffic is titled “general”.

Mr. Bhardwaj is also part of a group called Centre for Men’s Rights, which believes that men are the oppressed sex and fights against Section 498 (a) of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises cruelty to a woman by her husband or his relatives.

Rupa Rani, Lok Satta candidate for Rajajinagar Assembly constituency in Bangalore, has shared a photograph titled ‘Save the Holy Cow’ posted by her Facebook friend “Saffron”. The photograph shows the seer of the Ramchandrapura Math and Sangh Parivar ideologue Sri Raghaveshwara Bharathi petting a cow.

Meenakshi Bharath, party candidate for Malleswaram, has posted a photograph showing Muslim men showering rose petals on a troop of RSS workers clad in khaki shorts and wielding lathis (batons).

She also posted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on her Facebook profile. Party sources, who wished anonymity, said Ms. Bharath’s repeated public endorsement of leaders such as Mr. Modi has caused them embarrassment in the past as well.

Lok Satta founder Jayprakash Narayan said Mr. Bhardwaj’s position on women was “unacceptable”. He said: “He is not talking Lok Satta language or ideology.” Mr. Bhardwaj was asked to withdraw his nomination soon after.

On Ms. Rani’s post, Mr. Narayan said there are already laws against cow slaughter across the country. “But if you are going make anti-cow slaughter and vegetarianism into cultural symbols, then it is wrong,” he said.

Referring to Ms. Bharath’s actions, he said: “I don’t think Mr. Modi is an untouchable. The Lok Satta Party does neither embrace any political party or individual nor does it see them as untouchables.”

Party spokesperson Anand Yadwad said Ms. Rani and Ms. Bharath had been asked to remove the offensive posts. “We have told them they cannot take such anti-party stands,” he said.

A campaign

Elsewhere on the blogsphere, online activists are posting and re-posting the Facebook posts of the three Lok Satta candidates as part of a campaign titled “Expose Lok Satta Party — Anti-Women, Anti- SC/ST, shaking hands with Hindutva forces”.

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, who started the online campaign, said: “What kind of scrutiny does the party put its candidates through?” Activist Manohar Elavarathi, who first discovered these controversial Facebook posts, said: “Progressive political movements are built from bottom up by accounting for inequalities arising out of caste, class, gender and communalism. I don’t know how a middle-class oriented party like the Lok Satta can achieve that.”

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Bangalore: Bharatiya Janata Party is expected to begin its campaign in the state on Sunday, two weeks ahead of the scheduled polls in the state.

Senior party leaders including Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaih Naidu and LK Advani will kick-start the campaign in the state, as per reports.

The campaign will reportedly commence in six places with Advani scheduled to launch the campaign from Ranebennur and Davangere while Swaraj will be part of a rally in Bangalore.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would undertake a whirlwind tour across the state from April 23 for the May 05 Karnataka Assembly polls.

The polls holds out the prospect of an interesting battle between the ruling BJP, Congress, JDS and Karnataka Janatha Paksha led by former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, whose influence will be put to key test after his parting of ways with BJP.

Of the 3,692 candidates whose nominations were found valid, partywise breakup of candidates is INC (224), BJP (223), JDS (222), BSP (180), NCP (30), CPI-M (17) and CPI (9). The number of candidates belonging to unregistered parties stands at 895 while the number of Independents is 1,892.

Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said only by tomorrow morning "we will get a correct picture of the total number of contesting candidates".

Out of the 224 assembly constituencies, in 95 more than 16 candidates were in fray as of yesterday, he said.

The total electorate for the assembly polls in the state this time is 4,36,14,195, Jha said.

(With PTI Inputs)

Casting votes, minus the caste

Trapped in the arithmetics of caste, Karnataka politics might seem adamantly one-tracked. But Bangalore’s migrant, cosmopolitan voters offer an almost accidental alternative: A hitherto unseen deviation from caste-oriented voting, a trend triggered by their virtual ignorance of the candidate’s caste-linked surname.

Banking heavily on their caste identities, the candidates often overlook Bangalore’s demographics. Their calculations hover around the Kannadiga voters, but they constitute not more than 42 per cent of the city’s electorate. Caught up in their immediate urban issues, removed from the complex layers of local casteist politics, the Bengalis, Malayalis and Punjabis fail to fathom the mathematics of it all. That only gets tougher when caste is masked in local lingo.

“Caste has absolutely no role to play in how Bengalis vote. They only look at the party and the issue,” contends a Bengali Association member. That finds an echo among Malayalis and Tamilians. Even the Oriyas. “We don’t even understand the local candidates’ surnames that might reveal their castes. Even if we did, our voting wouldn’t be influenced by it,” points out Haraprasad Mohapatra, a Bangalorean since 1994, and a representative of the city’s estimated six-lakh Oriya-speakers.

The big chunk of North Indians too fail to grasp the caste dynamics here. Despite his long years in Karnataka politics, BJP MLC Lehar Singh had not seen a change in that perception. “The Rajasthanis, Gujaratis and Biharis settled in Bangalore never vote on caste lines here. They might do so in their native states, not here. They simply don’t know the caste, and are not bothered either,” notes Singh.

With elections nearing, water takes centre stage in KR Puram

Promising potable water is like promising moon. But three prominent political party candidates in KR Puram are promising clean water to voters!

Sitting BJP MLA Nandish Reddy, during his poll campaign has been reminding voters about his efforts to ensure water supply to about 60 per cent of the population in the constituency.

He further promised that his entire constituency will get water from Cauvery river, if elected. The fact remains that though he ensured water supply from Cauvery 4th Stage, the same has not been sufficient to 39 BBMP wards here. The general prediction, ‘future wars will be for water’, appears to be true when one goes around this constituency. It has been deprived of clean, potable water from the past two decades. The crisis is only deepening despite supply of Cauvery water to parts of KR Puram. Residents, by and large, are happy that they have access to Cauvery water, but are not ready to make payments to BWSSB.

Free water

They have been used to free water supply through tankers, courtesy local politicians. So, tankers are seen plying all over the constituency.

Candidates are making all out effort to make water a poll issue. KR Puram constituency, carved out of earlier Varthur and Hoskote constituencies, has been facing severe water crisis over the years. A haven of labour class thirty years ago, it has now transformed into a major real estate hub with property price skyrocketing.
With the ever increasing population, the region was crying for attention for infrastructure facilities. Excessive drilling of borewells to quench the thirst of growing population and clearing of open space for high-rise buildings resulted in ground water depletion and contamination. It was an easy victory for Nandish Reddy in 2008 as the BJP was riding on ‘betrayal’ wave. He could pack off Congress candidate A Krishnappa. People do appreciate the MLA for improving availability of water, condition of roads, the much required underground drainage system and desilting of certian lakes.

Congress nominee Byrathi A Basavaraj is also a familiar face because of his ‘water service’.  He has been supplying water through tankers to almost all the wards, the fact that has brought him closer to people. There are not many Congress workers missing A Krishnappa, who was denied ticket. Basavaraj, who is yet to begin campaigning, is making the sitting MLA sweat more.

J Ravi Prakash, JD(S) candidate, too claims credit for supplying water to the parched constituency. He too is into tanker water supply. He said the Cauvery water supply to KR Puram is a contribution of his party boss H D Kumaraswamy during his tenure as chief minister.

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