Cancel the ward committees, says citizen group

Ward committee drama

Citizens for Bengaluru is extremely disappointed and shocked at the final list of ward committees that have been announced. After the outrage of the initial list, we expected more citizen-centric and inclusive committees but that has been rendered false.

There is now incontrovertible proof that ward committees have been largely composed through nepotism and the family-chela network. Even a casual perusal of the lists shows clearly that husbands of various female corporators, and party workers have been selected instead of active citizens. Please see attached images with just a few of our observations.

While CfB led a mass RTI filing by citizens as to root cause of this problem and the commissioner and mayor have given assurances that ward committee selection will be a democratic process, it is apparent that it has not happened.

Ward committees are intended to be the bridge between elected politicians and regular citizens and Bengaluru has a culture of civic leadership via RWAs, civil society organisations, lake groups etc.

It is a shame that a proper democratic, inclusive and transparent process has not been established and used to leverage this citizen energy, which is the core purpose of ward committees. Instead, the city has been thrust with the whims and fancies of political preferences and democracy brazenly subverted in appropriating what should be an apolitical people’s representation.

CfB will continue this fight for the rightful place of people as the centre of governance of Bengaluru.

Firstly, we demand that the current notification be canceled. Secondly, we demand that the due process for selection of ward committees be established in consultation and consensus with corporators and civil society.

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About Srinivas Alavilli 24 Articles
Srinivas Alavilli is a citizen activist based in Bengaluru, working on a variety of issues. He is the co-founder of Citizens for Bengaluru, and is currently Fellow at WRI India.