Ahead of the Karnataka assembly election in April-May, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released a 20-page pictorial booklet listing omissions and commissions of the ruling Congress government that allegedly ruined Bengaluru, which was once a garden city and a pensioner’s paradise. “Since the Congress came to power in 2013, Bengaluru has turned into a garbage city, a crime city and a rape city from what it was known for greenery, salubrious climate and IT prowess,” BJP’s state unit in-charge and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters here. The city’s infrastructure was in ruins due to corruption and scams, he alleged. The “inaction and lack of preparation” of the Congress-run Bengaluru civic body during the heavy rains in 2017 claimed 16 lives and damaged property worth Rs 1,600 crore, the booklet claimed. “Congress claimed to have solved the issue of over 24,000 potholes on the city’s roads by sanctioning Rs 4,600 crore, but this is far from the truth,” alleged the Union Minister for Human Resource Development.
The state BJP leaders will soon travel to all the 28 assembly segments in the city by foot for a “Protect Bengaluru” campaign, Javadekar said. The city’s development was stuck in a traffic jam, forcing people to spend nearly 60 crore hours each year in traffic, causing a loss of Rs 3,700 crore, according to the booklet. “Mismanagement of traffic, unscientifically designed infrastructure projects and bad construction practices allowed to flourish by Siddaramaiah have permanently clogged the traffic,” it said. The Congress has made the city “hell” to live in with no proper garbage and pollution management, asserted the Minister. “Instead of working on solving the issue of polluted lakes like Bellandur Lake, the state government told the central government that the lake caught fire due to grass on the lake’s bed,” he remarked.
While the state government claimed that Karnataka was flourishing with investments, several companies like Amazon and Microsoft chose to move their operations to Hyderabad from Bengaluru, as they did not receive support from the state, claimed Javadekar. “Due to maladministration of the Siddaramaiah government, the city, once known to be a safe city is now the third most unsafe city in India,” he reiterated, without quoting any official source.
The state government was working by accepting “commissions” and was not letting the benefits of the central government schemes reach Bengalureans, stressed the BJP leader. In the May 2013 state assembly elections, out of the 28 assembly segments in the city, the Congress party won 13, BJP 12 and Janata Dal (Secular) 3. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, however, dismissed the BJP charges against his government as “baseless”.