In poll season, voters' wish-basket

Understanding what voters want from their elected representatives can vary from region to region in Karnataka, depending on the status of a district in terms of poverty levels. In the poorer districts, doing personal good — like funding a daughter's marriage — makes people feel good. In more developed and urban settings, it is public good that people are looking at and sometimes just the espousing of the right causes.

Here is a small sampling of things electoral candidates did for the people, what the people feel should have been done and appreciation for things done by elected representatives in different regions.

MANGALORE

In this communally torn coastal region, people have been perturbed by attacks on women by the right-wing moral brigade in the last five years and expressed concern that none of the candidates in the fray for the May 5 polls from the Mangalore region ever spoke out in public against the attacks.

"Yogish Bhat, the BJP MLA from Mangalore South for five terms, never condemned the attack in the legislature or anywhere else. I do not remember J R Lobo, the Congress candidate, saying anything either. On the moral policing front we do not expect much change from these candidates," says Vidya Dinker, an activist who started a group against atrocities on women in July 2012.

The real issues in Mangalore for the elections, according to Dinker, are things like road, water and electricity that a lot of people feel the BJP has not delivered upon.

"The attacks on women affected only a small section of society. Most people were of the view that some of the attacks were merited. You see for people it is all a spectacle until their own are affected in such a situation," says Jayamma, 62, a social worker in Mangalore. "There are no great issues to decide elections. It is all about how much money a candidate can shell out. Even in Mangalore, elections have become all about money," Jayamma said.

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