Srikanth Narasimhan, founder and secretary general of the Narvirmana Party of Bengaluru (BNP), is an alumnus of the most prestigious schools in India. An engineering graduate from BITS Pilani and an MBA from IIM-Bangalore, Srikanth worked in business for over 20 years before actively entering the social and civic space of Bengaluru. He is also the president of the Bengaluru Apartments Federation (BAF), and it was this stint that gave him a foray into politicians and district administrative officials.
“BNP is the world’s first city-only party to tackle neglected civic issues while staying away from major political issues affecting the state or the center,” said Srikanth The logical Indian. The founder explicitly mentioned that the Party did not aspire to enter mainstream politics at state and national level. However, the Party would focus entirely on the daily problems of thousands of Bengalurians. While further describing the type of issues the Party would be working on, Srikanth said, “We would focus on things that impact ordinary people in the city, for example, the garbage lying on the road unattended, damaged roads and water supply problems among many others “.
While emphasizing the reach of the Party, Srikanth said, “Currently there are 198 wards, but we will probably become 243 wards. Support has grown organically over the past two years. For a while, people appreciated the idea of the party and showed a willingness to challenge and help. We did not specifically issue an appeal asking people to challenge. One fascinating thing that we do, which is different from many other parties, is that no high command decides for the Party. In each neighborhood, we form a team, and the team decides who will participate. For example, if you don’t get the support of another team, I can’t challenge the election. “
Vision of the party
Party members say BBMP receives 10,000 crore as an annual budget, but despite everything, the city’s condition is going from bad to worse. The anticipated reasons for the situation are the lack of citizen participation in neighborhood elections, the lack of transparency in the budget and accounts, the lack of accountability for work done or not and efficient and responsible citizens choosing to stay outside of politics and governance.
Even before winning the neighborhood elections, the Party has already taken action and is taking initiatives to help residents have a better experience. The Party launched BNP Jana Mitra, a campaign to help disburse the benefits of several government programs to the most vulnerable segments of society. As part of their BNP Nimma Arogya campaign, Party volunteers aim to provide more than 20 lakh citizens of the city with preventive and primary health care facilities.
Asked about the Party’s vision, Srikanth said, “The Party’s vision is to make Bengaluru a model city. The aim is to promote sustainable, inclusive and balanced development of Bengaluru, and its ideology is good grassroots governance. BNP, we aim to bring about change by fighting the system from within, rather than from the outside. We believe that local governance is about execution, which has been sorely lacking due to various factors. ”
He further shared that BNP is committed to keeping the citizen of Bengaluru at heart and working to provide basic amenities such as pothole-free roads, litter-free localities, sewer-free storm sewers, functional street lights, etc.
Speaking about how the BNP is making its way in the political arena, Srikanth said, “Our minimum goal is to compete for 100 to 125 neighborhoods. In addition, our minimum goal is to gain from at least 25 wards, 10% of the total number of ridings. Several people in our Party are leading powerful campaigns. The numbers are increasing ”. Asked about the burden of victory, Srikanth said The logical Indian, “The responsibility lies with the team, as at this time we have not released the names of any of the applicants, as this would be in accordance with the reservation and other formal procedures. Right now we are putting together a team for an individual Ward, who then works towards the main goal. “
Funding by local teams
When we asked about Party funding, Srikanth said The logical Indian, “The money is obviously going to be very important, but not as much as the other parties demand it, because we are not going to attract people to vote for us. We would probably need a few lakhs to contest from each quarter, and We have already made a plan for this. We will do two things: first, we will spend money locally on our campaigns, and that money will mainly come from local teams only. At the central level, we want to raise quite a bit of money. money because we want to spend money on social media, billboards, etc. Over the past and a half years, we have raised almost 1 crore to run the day-to-day operations of the party. “
When asked if the BNP has crossed paths with traditional political parties, Srikanth replied, “In some areas, of course. We have already been labeled as the “AAP B Team” in a few instances. and I felt worried if people supported him. However, one of the most pleasant surprises I have witnessed is that people are looking for a change.
While mentioning why their BNP connects to people, Srikanth said The logical Indian, “All of these parties, whether national, state or regional, they are all fighting over national issues and using elements of caste and religion for their purposes. People are fed up with it all. When the BNP has arrived, we were clear that grassroots development has been ignored, and our focus is only on Bengaluru and how civic issues affect the people. ”
BNP has also launched a campaign called “LekkaBeku” to truly involve citizens and promote transparency in budget spending. He launched the Citizen Portal for Transparency which provides full details on the budget allocation and expenditure of the BBMP at the neighborhood level. It would be interesting to see what the eventual course of the Party would be in the times to come. Nevertheless, the Party seems promising in its position and its objectives.
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