For the upcoming Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections, the voters have shown their inclination toward real problems than extraneous issues. In a recent City Politics Survey conducted by the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, it was found that 89 per cent of Bengaluru voters are concerned about environmental challenges and climate change. Yet only 25 per cent believe that the elected representatives are giving due importance to the environment-related issues. The survey was conducted to gauge public opinion on native governance.
The survey report also reveals that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai are household names. Still, only two out of 10 voters remember the name of the last city mayor. As a result, voters knock on the door of their Member of Legislative Assembly, MLA, to solve an issue rather than going to their ward councillors. The survey was conducted in 27 wards of eight zones in Bengaluru.
The survey report claims that the urban poor is struggling to access water, and the middle & upper class are lamenting the traffic. Apart from climate and environmental issues, the voters are also concerned about management and garbage, and traffic in the city. Many believe these issues are real, and the upcoming local body elections should be fought based on these issues.
Sapna Karim of Janaagraha said, "While a large percentage of citizens and voters of Bengaluru may not fully understand the nature of ward level governance, it is clear that their expectations from the BBMP and the new council that will be formed are to ensure there are walkable footpaths, clean neighbourhoods, an efficient commute, access to clean water, and there is a focus on mitigating the negative impact on climate and environment, among other civic issues."
The candidates fighting the election to become a representative of the local wards must be capable enough to ensure better services and improvement in the ward's infrastructure. Due to the blurred history of local-level development, half of Bengaluru voters do not recognize 'Ward' as a unit of governance and development. Interestingly, 86% of Bengaluru's first-time BBMP voters strongly expressed the intention to vote in the upcoming BBMP election. It implies today's youth's interest in participating in the native election.