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Home > India > News > Report

Karnataka poll: Will realtors rule Bengaluru?

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | April 08, 2008 16:29 IST

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Karnataka Votes

Bengaluru and real estate go hand in hand. Property prices have seen an upward trend in this city over the past eight years and this has only made the realtor in the city more powerful and active.

All these years, the role of the realtor was very backstage and the money earned by him was being pumped into election campaigns.

This time around the realtor is not going to sit back and watch. He wants his share of power and interestingly only in Bengaluru, which is power centre of the state of Karnataka.

Major political parties such as the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal-Secular have received nearly 900 applications from various aspirants to contest the 28 seats in Bengaluru.

Sources in these parties told that almost 400 applications (all parties) are from realtors.

It is also stated that most of the aspirants have applied with either the BJP or the Congress as these two parties have a better chance of coming to power.

The question now is why is there such a change in trend and why is that the realtors are not content anymore in sitting backstage and calling the shots.

Over a period of time with land rates booming there is a lot of stake involved. Real estate has become a Rs 5,000 crore business and with each passing day, the trend only seems to be moving upwards.

It has also been noticed that several politicians too are entering this business, thanks to the lucrative nature that it has got.

Shama Reddy, a realtor told that this trend is known as 'incestuous chance migration'.

"When the politician is treading into our territory why shouldn't we? Moreover, there is a lot of harassment from political circles in terms of clearing projects and sanctioning land. Hence, it better to be part of the political clout rather than fight as an outsider," he added.

Reddy also pointed out that if more realtors enter into politics it could mean more development. There would be no project delays and files would move easily.

Politicians however sing a different tune. A senior BJP leader said that realtors have been ruling the roost for quite some time now.

However, there were checks and balances and their flaws were being pointed out by the government.

Entering into politics is the best bet as they will be in the chair, which makes all the decisions.

They feel they will be privy to the files and push their way through if they are in politics.

In political circles it is also being felt that like the mining lobby, even the realtors are trying to build a lobby of their own.

They are well aware of the nightmares the mining lobby gave the previous government and how they called the shots.

Realtors too are trying something similar, they feel.

Another factor that is very evident is that realtors who have sought tickets to contest the elections have done so with a lot of care.

There are more aspirants in areas such as Rajarajeshwarinagar, Yelahanka and K R Puram, thanks to the fact that several major housing projects are coming up in these areas.

The final list of candidates and also the number of realtors in the fray for the elections may take a day or two to be made public. Will the realtors rule Bangalore as part of the government? Only time will tell.