BJP candidate B Sriramulu files his nomination in the presence of party leaders B.S Yeddyurappa, Prakash Javadekar and Muralidhar Rao, in Badami on Tuesday. (Photo: KPN)
Hubballi: While the Congress and BJP are busy wooing the Kurubas and Lingayats of Badami , who will play a pivotal role in the deciding the fate of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Valmiki strongman, B Sriramulu these polls, neither party is paying any attention to the deplorable condition of the constituency despite its many tourism attractions.
The nightmarish traffic jam seen on the final day of filing nomination papers by the candidates was a reflection of the sorry state of the tourist town. Although the world heritage site of Pattadkal and the Badami caves are a huge tourist attraction, bad roads, lack of accommodation and drinking water shortage continue to haunt it. The projects to shift a residential colony near the Badami caves and widen the narrow roads leading to the historical monuments have made no progress, but the political parties don’t seems to care, being instead engrossed in caste calculations with the elections just two weeks away.
"We hope the Congress will provide a special package for the development of the taluk as it has already done a lot for the Kurubas," says a hopeful Bagalkot Zilla Kuruba Samaj secretary, Shashikant Udagatti.
But those involved in the tourism industry don’t have much hope on this front, pointing out that the Chalukya Utsava held in the town has little or no meaning and the long pending demand for a Badami Development Authority has still not been met. They rue that the taluk has not witnessed any development since it was devastated by the flash floods of 2009.
"The roads in Badami constituency are so bad that one foreign tourist lodged a complaint with the Governor about suffering a back injury while travelling to one of the tourist spots. We are also often abused by tourists for the lack of infrastructure here," says Mr Ashok Mayachari, a tourist guide in Badami and president of the Karnataka Tourists Guides’ Association.