Bharat Mata ki Jai!!!
Main Bhi Chowkidar!!!
Deshakke Modi Dakshinakke Surya!!!
These slogans are still resonating in my mind!!!
Being a Kendriya Vidyalaya alumnus and a swayam sevika, my first-time campaigning experience was indeed a cherishable one
Be it wearing ‘MODI ONCE MORE’ t-shirts and doing Mall-o-thons or distributing pamphlets at Lalbagh and Cubbon Park!
From performing a flash mob at Jayanagar or door to door campaigning in Arekere!
From street rallies with our candidate Tejasvi Surya to a road show with Amit Shah
From watching PM Narendra Modi LIVE addressing Bengaluru from Palace Grounds to running from pillar to post on 18 Apr 2018 – the voting day - to make sure that there was maximum voter turnout in the booths assigned to me (281 and 282 - Arekere ward)
This entire experience was just MAGICAL!!
This period provided me an opportunity to meet a few eminent leaders and many volunteers and mainly commoners like us.
I am so proud to be a South Bangalorean where people are almost wedded to Bharatiya Janata Party since decades.
While campaigning, few voters said they do not even need a pamphlet to vote for BJP, rather Modi ji, whereas few were finally happy to see BJP seeking votes and providing voter slips. In few areas we were welcomed with lime juice but in few other areas we were told not to enter as it belonged to another political party!
With the collaboration of multiple volunteer groups like Namo Bharti, TPC (Third Party Campaigning) of Sangh and volunteer Group of Team Tejasvi Surya, I am happy to say that we could achieve successful increase in voter turnout percentage in most of our booths.
Finally, a few takeaways:
- Complete electoral clean up: I believe that the voter turnout percentage is highly incorrect given the fact that we had multiple deleted entries, duplicate entries and an outdated voter list. In some booths, the list held by the polling officers did not match the list available in the Election Commission website. The Shakti Kendra Pramukhs need to be engaged to work along with the BJP agents to get this issue sorted out at the earliest.
- Creation of pressure groups: The volunteers should form pressure groups to get the civic issues sorted out with the aid of local corporators and MLAs.
- Launch Jan Suvidha drives: Most of the schemes introduced by the Center have not reached the needy urban poor. Post 23rd May our beloved PRAJA RAYA Sri Tejasvi Surya (we already know that he would be winning the elections), should initiate Jan Suvidha drives where in volunteers across South Bangalore will make sure that the needy in their locality obtain the benefit of these schemes.
Bengaluru has seen abnormal and unchecked growth in the past 3 decades owing to its popularity as the IT hub. People including our BJP candidate Tejasvi Surya are aware of these problems and have voiced their concern regularly. Some of the issues that need to be addressed immediately without any delay are listed below.
- Traffic and Commute issues: It won’t be an over-exaggeration if I say that most Bangaloreans spend abnormally long hours in traffic commuting to and from their place of work. While the well-healed prefer private transport instead of public transport, the rest continue to use outdated public transport which is desperately in need of a major overhaul. Namma Metro construction should be speeded up to provide relief to the commuters. Transport buses need to have efficient routes, dedicated bus lanes and integrated ticketing systems. Once these public transport infrastructure initiatives bear fruit, efforts should be made to discourage people from using private transport.
- Illegal Constructions / encroachments: Careless attitude of the local body Brihat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has resulted in a large number of violations in the form of illegal constructions and encroachments across the city. All attempts to correct this has had little or no success since BBMP itself hasn’t implemented the corrective measures. The local body in close coordination with the state government and central government, if needed, will have to pick this up on a war footing to help gain much needed revenue to the state exchequer, clear blocking encroachments and constructions which are unsafe or unregulated.
- Lake preservation: Bengaluru was once called a City of Lakes. Today a handful of the lakes remain and are usable. Blocking water flow in catchment areas, illegal constructions on lake beds, excessive usage of ground water have caused lakes to dry up. What you see today are high rise buildings on these dried-up lake beds. It is essential that Bengaluru remains true to its sobriquet of City of Lakes. Local body BBMP has to take the initiative in this regard by reviving as many lakes as possible. MP LAD funds, public private partnership, local body funds can all be used wisely in this regard.
Job creation by industrial development in South Bengaluru: Bengaluru is known as the IT capital of the country. But not many are aware that many manufacturing units have shut down in the past 3 decades owing to multiple reasons. While IT can continue to be a major revenue earner for the state and the nation, the city can also afford to set up special industrial development zones in and around the Greater Bengaluru metropolitan area. Efforts in this regard will invite major foreign direct investment and also create large number of jobs in the blue-collared workforce sector.
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