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Karnataka: Prominent citizens raise voting awareness

Bangalore: Bangalore-based astronomer, Ashwin Mahesh isn't gazing at the stars for now as he has hit the campaign trail. He along with icons like former Infosys Director Mohandas Pai, and other prominent citizens are addressing voter concerns and raising awareness ahead of May 11 polls.

"Representation and public participation is required in a democracy and if an opportunity has presented itself why can't we take it up and do something," said Mahesh.

At the other end of the city, Dr Meenakshi Bharath too, has decided to be the change this election season and educate voters for the May polls. She has worked relentlessly towards correcting errors in the 2008 Karnataka state elections voter list.

Thanks to her efforts, the voter turnout in 2008 increased from 44 per cent to 68 per cent in the Malleshwaram area. This time she wants to better that.

"Citizens need to be the change. I felt we needed to do more and correct the problems existing with the current system. What better time than to do it now?," asked Bharath.

What Ashwin Mahesh and Meenakshi Bharath both have in common is the backing of Bangalore's best brains and achievers. The Bangalore Political Action Committee or B.PAC was set up in February, bringing together people like Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Mohandas Pai, Ashwini Nachappa, Prasad Bidapa and many other eminent personalities.

However, the team doesn't want to be confused for a political party. What they do want is to maximise voter participation and engage the political class to listen to the people's demands

"We are not a political party. It is party agnostic. What we are is a platform to address voter concerns and ensure effective participation within a democracy and do away with Bangalore's declining status," said Shaw and Nachappa.

Social media campaigns, outdoor advertising and rallies across the city - the B.PAC is going all out to ensure voter awareness and participation. And for a city that has been battling poor infrastructure and corruption, the people of Bangalore are hoping that this organization will help usher in a new wave of good governance.