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Amongst these, who is best placed to improve my local area?

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silkboard's picture

Just curious ...

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... to know what we expect or know of the relative jurdisdictions of these elected representatives. I am sure the question will get mixed up what it should ideally be, and what it is (no elected council for bangalore). But if we had a council in place, what things can it do for my local area in Bangalore? Should I run to my councillor for help, or would that be a waste?

What can an MP vs MLA do for my local area? How do they clash, or avoid a clash? Should I vote for a Congress MP when my area's MLA is BJP or JD-S? Or perhaps it just doesn't matter - MLA is all I should care about as far as local area development is concerned.

idontspam's picture

Different levels

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Simply put, councillor represents us in BBMP, MLA in vidhan soudha and MP in New Delhi. They are supposed to take up issues that are pertinent at those forums. Currently Bangalore doensnt have any councillors so there...
Ravi_D's picture

Area Corporator

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I'd vote for corporator - remember how Hanumanthanagar ward improved when Chandrashekar was taking initiative?

What happens once they grow in popularity is a different matter though :(

Ravi

silkboard's picture

MP least relevant?

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isn't it? Councillor to think about local issues, MLA to make sure local issues fit with the state's plans, and MP to make them fit in national plans - MP is the "farthest" isn't it?

BTW, there is an active PIL running in Supreme Court than challenges MPLAD (Local Area Development funds that MP get) scheme. the PIL says that MPLAD interefers with local autonomy.

 

BSY will face contempt of court

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The Karnataka HC ruled that the BJP govt has to hold BBMP council and mayoral elections within March 10th, 2009. With the current Lok Sabha Elections due by May 2009, i doubt BSY would hold BBMP elections.

Not having a local elected council in place is proving disastrous for our city. We would not be able to receive extra grants from JNNURM and not have a system of local governance and decentralised governance mechanism in place.

The current system is just fostering a nexus between contractors, officials, MLAs and diverting funds to wasteful projects such as underpassess and indiscriminately chopping trees instead of saner iniatives.

BSY will face contempt of court if he does not hold BBMP elections. He should stop acting like the Mayor of Bangalore and behave like the CM of Karnataka. 
Rithesh's picture

Relevance of MPs in local issues will reduce

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The role of the MPs has indeed been coming down over the years. With decentralization being strongly encouraged (intentionally or otherwise) the grass root level representatives will grow in prominence. At some point even MLAs may be less relevant than they are today.

I was talking to a few prospective corporators of my area and i was told that to get a corporator seat (mind you just the right to stand for elections) from any recognized party they have to shell out something in excess of 5 million. The reason being that eventually when they are elected much of the cities development programs will come under their purview - partly because of JNRUM guidelines.

This is also one of the reasons that the council elections are being pushed. If the council is elected the MLAs will lose their authority over development activities with in Bangalore.

Coming Back to MPs i think they will play a more and more prominent role in national issues and wont be able to directly influence the local issues and at some point their powers and roles will be no different from the Rajya Sabha MPs.

Hence it is important for the people to vote for people who are more qualified for these roles, like economists, policy makes, etc. Not to take a dig at RK Mishra - but with the kind of work he is doing - he should have contested the state elections - i dont really see a traffic management expert contributing to nation building atleast not dirrectly. Bengaluru needs him more than India.

Last mile governance is the key

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Decentralised governance is what will untilmately work in Bengaluru. Only a local ward sabha together with the ward corporator will be able to tackle issues such as broken street light, broken drain etc etc.

The MLA shouldn't be doing this.

Rumour has it that V Somanna, an influential Congress candidate in Vijaynagar is planning to shift base to the BJP to contest Bangalore Mayoral elections. A recent even was even attended by H N Ananth Kumar, who curiously cut short a visit to New Delhi to be in a function with V Somanna, BSY and others. 
silkboard's picture

This is good development

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Political "talent" giving importance to local elections is good development. I put talent in quotes because we are not sure if the same old politics will play out at city level, or will it be one amongst us (younger, newer, local) running for local elections. That thing apart (it will take care of itself with time), power (which will come from real local fiscal powers) to local bodies is a good thing.

Karnatak's score card on JNNURM mandated reforms has been dismal so far. Last I checked, only 3 of the 29 reforms our state signed up for have been carried out (refer state government's own advertisement in papers last week).

Looking at our city, I sense that state government is "using" the absence of elected local government to get going with "speed". Many in the government complain that things wont happen with "speed" if 1) there are local governments in place and 2) all transparency norms are followed. Leave #2 aside as that will be offtopic, but #1 is a myth. Decentralization and delegation always speeds things up, though the point about how will this delegation work if there are different parties in power and state and local levels is a valid one.

Sad thing is this. This is the real thing we got to fix. But most of us, and activists, are busy fighting for the visible pennies like roads and trees. All that stuff is more like the symptom of absence of real grassroot democractic decentralization.

Naveen's picture

Needs are different for different groups

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The local corporator is the one that's closest to us & holds direct responsibility for the area. He should be the one we should be heading to for redressal of grievances. However, in actual practice, his powers are limited & the local MLA, being more powerful, tends to "control" whilst the corporator is left attending meetings & "executing".

Another point is that different societal groups have different needs from their local representatives. Whilst we worry about the condition of roads & complain about trees being cut, bus users will want a bus-stop at their area, shop-keepers & buisnesses seek low rentals & reduced taxes, etc.

The clout enjoyed by MPs thus far, has been on the excessive side, & there is no doubt that this needs to be "clipped". Though the local area fund scheme for MPs may have resulted in some improvements in certain cases, it goes against the priciples of local governance & decentralization. In this respect, the PIL is noteworthy.

kiran8's picture

They all have a role to play..

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All three have been elected to their respective posts, so that they perform, which is seldom the case in Indian Politics.This is precisely why we need to look for scapegoats to pass on the responsibility and blame...I have voted for MLA because he is the best placed , especially if he belongs to the ruling political party( state). He also gets his yearly MLA fund which, if utilised properly can go a long way in improving his constituency ?? but?? http://kiran8-various.blo...
sarvesh1970's picture

Councillor/Mla/MP

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I have voted for the councillor just because of the proximity of that post to the locality. But are anyone of the above three mentioned really doing something? Our Politicians are experts in buck passing. In the end they either end up blaming the state govt/central govt/the opposition parties. In fact they do not have the will to change anything except their incomes.

SEC seeks early BBMP elections

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http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/05/stories/2009030558570300.htm

Looks like the babudom is forcing the MLA raj into accepting the inveitability of BBMP elections. Interestingly, the CEO, Mr M N Vidyashankar seems to have found the courage after the model code of conduct has come into place, therefore protecting his back from political goons.

I would not be surprised if GoK cites the impending Lok Sabha elections in order not to hold BBMP elections. This is a big scandal. It will account to contempt of court and the BSY government can be dismissed if it does not abide by the 74th amendment. 

I am hopeful atleast that BBMP elections be held this year.

Corporator must for governance

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Presence and effectiveness of a corporator is a must for last mile governance. Unless BBMP elections are held, the city will not be able to make full  use of JNNURM funds. Having a mayor-council in place is a requirement under JNNURM's strictures.

Mayor council

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 "In Bangalore the Kasturirangan Committee made a comprehensive set of recommendations for the enlarged Bangalore Municipal Corporation with a directly elected mayor at its head and a participatively structured regional development authority for the Bangalore metropolitan region. The report languishes."

[...]

"In the Indian context, the chief minister of a state, however skilled and competent he or she may be, cannot double up as the mayor of its principal city. This has been amply proved by S M Krishna’s tryst with Bangalore, and Chandrababu Naidu’s with Hyderabad. By definition, the metropolis is a collection of polities which cannot function at the whim and fancy of a provincial government. Sheila Dixit’s charm and charisma have ensured her electoral success. In reality she is not a chief minister as in other states, but the mayor of a metropolis — though she may not like to be called that.

The structure of a metropolitan government should be strong enough to comprehend and deal with the varied tasks at the metropolitan level. At the same time it has to be sensitive to its citizens’ needs, which are more manifest at the local level. The need to balance the micro with the macro is a major challenge but well within the realm of possibilities.

It is equally important that the economic destiny of a city, its social cohesion and its political mandate are not subordinated frequently to some turf battles waged elsewhere in the state, be it for Telengana, Rayalaseema, Vidharba or Dakshin Kannada."

Naveen's picture

Great Article !

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Thanks MCadambi, for posting this. The analysis was excellent. Our politicians want to be seen as important everywhere & this is probably the main reason why our cities are so bad.

Cities used as milch cows

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City dwellers are primarily middle class and are quite physically weak. They know what they want, but yet cannot force politicians to act upon that. I have seen more political participation at rural areas.

It is because of this neglect that our cities are even worser in condition that other developing world cities like Manila, Mexico City and even Colombo, closer to home.

I am atleast happy some concerned bureaucrats like K C Sivaramakrishnan, the author of the BS article above have identified the problem. Now the trick is to act towards solving that problem.

I am slightly optimistic, but still given that cities like Chennai opted for a strong Mayor-Council system and then reverted back to the 80 year old law makes me hopeless.

God save urban india! 

Grudging acceptance

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It appears that the BSY is a party to the fact that it cannot avoid holding BBMP elections. Looks like we are headed for Mayor Council elections in November 2009.

That date is too late. Ideally, it should be held after a month of the new government coming to power in New Delhi.  

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=BBMP+elections+will+have+to+wait,+Govt+seeks+time&artid=Zig9u0|OWtM=&SectionID=Qz/kHVp9tEs=&MainSectionID=wIcBMLGbUJI=&SectionName=UOaHCPTTmuP3XGzZRCAUTQ==&SEO=

New Muncipal Act

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From that article:

"“Moreover, the existing Municipal Corporation Act is not sufficient to monitor t h e administration of BBMP. Thus, BBMP needs a separate act, for this committee had been constituted under the chairmanship of former Chief Secretary A Ravindra. So government needs time to formulate new act,” the government said in the IA."


idontspam's picture

New act holding up election?

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Moreover, the existing Municipal Corporation Act is not sufficient to monitor t h e administration of BBMP. Thus, BBMP needs a separate act... So government needs time to formulate new act

I understand we are trying to do good with the reformulation of the act. But, how is the new act holding up the election?

Drafting a new act takes time

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Drafting a new policy and new act takes time. I suspect that the new draft might actually clip the powers of BBMP. But given the fact that Karnataka has been at the forefront of decentralisation, i am atleast a bit hopeful for a better local governance policy. 

Expanding BBMP

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Expanding BBMP to include areas for HSRL is a good option. But such expansion will take it's toll on local governance. Newer wards would have to be created in those areas and this process will delay BBMP elections. 
premsudhabc's picture

Voted for MLA

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I have pesonnlly seen the  MLA of Bommanahalli who is coming forward to solve any issues related to any area improvement.

I think MLA has sufficient power.
MP  seems to be too big for these issues

Nareshb's picture

Who is accountable to whom?

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I feel that the corporator/councillor is best placed to solve the problems. But will he be able to do it? For example, if there is a drainage issue, will the corporator be able to instruct BWSSB officials to set it right? When BWSSB, the police force etc are not accountable to the council and hence (indirectly) to us, how will the corporator be able to get things done? How can we ask him to get things done?

Good news?

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Looks like we may be getting a Mayor-Council in place and get to elect a mayor. Lets hope we get the right person to do the magic to Bangalore what Mayor Bloomberg did for New York City.

Citizens to elect mayor directly?

Bangaloreans will elect their mayor directly if this decision by the government is implemented without any hiccups. If implemented this will be for the first time in India where mayor of the city corporation will be elected directly. The state government has given the green signal for the BBMP mayor's direct election, as per recommendation of the committee headed by Kasturirangan. The cabinet accepted this recommendation on Feb 18th 2009. As regards the proposal to having two mayors, the government has decided to have only one. (Vijaya Karnataka, Tuesday, Mar 10)

http://bangalore.citizenm...

Nareshb's picture

Re: Good news?

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Hope a directly elected mayor will have all powers in matters pertaining to Bangalore and in turn be accountable to the citizens of this city! If this is not the case, there is no need to impose another election on us. The current system of selecting a mayor from the elected councilors can be continued.


psaram42's picture

Improving Local Area

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This is an interesting poll. Sorry that I am late. Surprisingly my vote is for none of the above! My choice is RWA which is not included.

Any way I vote for MLA as there is no councilor at present. I did meet Sri Raghu our MLA in connection with Property Tax which I have reported in Praja earlier. FKCCI had several meetings with RWA's regarding property tax. They lobied with MLA,s and final meeting was With Minister Katta Subramnya in the end, recently.

PSA

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