Bengaluru: Civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Wednesday announced a Rs9,326.87 crore budget for 2018-19, with considerable allocations for welfare and populist programmes, healthcare and solid waste management (SWM) to help the Congress party retain (and hopefully increase) its seat share in Bengaluru in the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka.
Taking a leaf from the Congress-led Karnataka government, the BBMP announced the ‘Pink Baby’ scheme wherein a sum of Rs5 lakh fixed deposit would be set up for the ‘first girl child’ born on or after 1 January 2019 in all maternity hospitals run by the civic body.
The BBMP also announced the setting up of ‘Janoushadha centres’ in Palike hospitals and at Indira Canteens to distribute medicines at lower prices to the needy.
Heading into assembly elections, the Congress party, that is jointly in power at the civic body (along with Janata Dal (Secular) is eyeing urban votes to help the Siddaramaiah-led state government to increase its seat share in Benglauru.
The Congress government in the state have announced multiple schemes like Anna Bhagya (free rice), Ksheera Bhagya (free milk for students), universal health care and Indira Canteens--a subsidised food venture--to mobilise support for the party in Bengaluru which accounts for 28 of the 224 assembly seats and four Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. Of this, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 12, Congress has 13 and the JD(S) has three seats The BJP won three of the four parliamentary seats in 2014.
Bengaluru, the highest revenue earning district in the state, is central to Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah’s ‘Navakarnataka Nirmana’ (building new Karnataka) campaign.