After Karnataka election results, start-ups brace for disruptions
Bengaluru: A hung assembly in Karnataka could delay public infrastructure projects and other policies that are in the works, start-up founders and entrepreneurs in state capital Bengaluru said.
As results of the assembly elections were announced on Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fell short of a clear majority, while the Indian National Congress (INC) took the second position.
The third main party in the state, the Janata Dal (S), is set to play the kingmaker with the possibility of forming the government in alliance with the Congress to keep the BJP out.
According to the start-up founders and executives Mint spoke to, delays in forming the government might create an unstable political environment, which is not favourable for start-ups in Bengaluru, also known as India’s silicon valley.
“A party winning with majority seats is a good sign; having a hung assembly will only escalate delays in public projects and cause more confusion,” Amit Kumar Agarwal, chief executive of NoBroker, a real estate platform ,said in a phone interview.
Agarwal said the new state government must escalate public infrastructure projects in Bengaluru, as that would dictate how much talent migrates into the city. He also said the state should support emerging start-ups in the agriculture and logistics segments as these sectors have a trickle-down effect on the economy.
Srikanth Iyer, chief executive of online furniture and design firm HomeLane, said he prefers a stable government for the next five years without having to deal with a hung assembly. “One of the biggest fears I had was a fractured verdict, and unstable scenario which is not good for anybody…also after many years we finally might have the same government at the centre and in the state (Karnataka) and I believe that is a good sign for the citizens and start-ups alike,” added Iyer.
Harsh Shah, co-founder of fashion e-commerce platform Fynd, said he expects Bengaluru to upgrade its public infrastructure in the coming months, but is skeptical about the commercial projects in the city.
“My worry is there will be a lot more policies targeted at the locals rather than Bangalore, and I think that will affect our delivery operations in some manner,” added Shah.
Commenting on Bengaluru’s low voter turnout, Kaushik Mudda, co-founder of hardware start-up Ethereal Machines, said a general mistrust and widening bridge between the local candidates and citizens might have discouraged voters from casting their votes. “The low amount of voter turnout among Bengalurians and especially among the IT crowd, is because there is no stickiness between the local party leaders and the start-up and IT crowd themselves,” added Mudda.
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