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Home > India > News > Report

Bangalore: National parties score over regional ones

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | April 18, 2008 15:25 IST

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'Outsiders' have become an integral part of Bangalore, which has emerged as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in India. Today, the non-Kannadigas in the city outnumber the Kannadigas.

Sixty five per cent of the 5,280,000 people who live in Bangalore are non-Kannadigas and almost 40 per cent of them are registered voters. So what do the state elections mean to the non- Kannadigas?

Navkesh Batra, a senior lawyer who has been living in Bangalore for the last 20 years, says, " Primarily, we vote for the party, not the candidate. For us, the party is more visible than the candidate himself. The manifesto of the party is what we identify with."

Batra points out that he will have certain expectations from the party that eventually comes to power. " But we have seen the rise and fall of so many state governments, so it would not be to wise to expect anything at present," he said.

Batra added that after the rocky political scenario in the last few months, most voters are hoping for a stable government.

Kuldeep Singh Reikhy, president of the Karnataka Punjab Welfare Association, has been a Bangalorean for the last 40 years. "We would prefer to vote for a party instead of a candidate as individuals make no difference to us," said Reikhy.

Selvam, the owner of a video parlour in Ulsoor, hails from Tamil Nadu but has been living in Bangalore for the last 15 years.

"I am aware that the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam too contest a few seats in Karnataka. However, the Tamil population usually does not vote for them, as we do not have the numbers here to vote them to power. It makes more sense to vote for a party that has a chance of forming the government," he said.

Rakhi Malhotra, who settled in Bangalore 25 years ago, feels that the promises made by most candidates often make no sense. Most of the candidates from regional parties focus on issues concerning Kannadigas, while she would prefer issues like infrastructure development and a better standard of life to be highlighted.

"Only national parties have such an approach, so we prefer voting for them than supporting a regional party," she said.