15 March 2010
Bengaluru Janara Vedike / Bangalore People’s Forum
Peoples Manifesto for BBMP election demands genuine devolution and public participation
All efforts of Karnataka Government to deny the people of Bangalore their fundamental right to choose their local government has been defeated by landmark decisions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Karnataka in response to Public Interest Litigations. As a result elections to BBMP will now be held on 28 March 2010.
Bengalureans last voted over 7 years ago and have been denied their right to shape their city for over three years now when an elected body did not exist. In this period a highly unaccountable and centralised bureaucratic raj took over, giving very little opportunity for citizens to be involved in local decisions. The impact was apparent everywhere: quality of basic services significantly declined, even as money and public resources were invested in highly questionable projects and schemes and in a wholly intransparent manner.
The opportunity now exists to renew our tryst with local democracy and begin shaping our city. Municipal elections are key drivers in shaping our city. Choose the wrong candidate, and vote on the wrong set of issues, the impact is likely to be irreversible. Contrarily, if candidates were to agree to People’s real issues of concerns, and get voted, they are likely to follow up on election promises during their term in office.
With this in context, many not-for-profit voluntary and public interest organisations working with a variety of communities and on a range of issues met over the past several months to collate a People’s Manifesto. Several meetings and discussions within and across sectors was the basis of preparing this Manifesto which is a distilled version of various progressive policies and measures that we feel people of Bengaluru deserves. The list of issues and concerns raised in the Manifesto are meant to be indicative and not all comprehensive.
We are encouraging Voters, Candidates and Public Spirited Campaigners to use this Manifesto as a basis to make a wise choice while participating in the BBMP elections.