India's IT Hub Challenging Politics as Usual

Community looks to election for solution to Bangalore's crumbling infrastructure
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted May 20, 2008 3:01 PM CDT
A woman waits with her child outside the airport terminal in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, March 12, 2008. There's still no new road built to a much-delayed new airport set to open this year.   (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
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(Newser) – For years, Bangalore—India’s answer to Silicon Valley—has endured traffic jams, power blackouts and a chaotic airport that businesses blame on politicians who’ve ignored the city’s IT elites to court rural voters. Now, Reuters reports, an updated constituency map giving urban voters more clout has hope high for change after state elections end Thursday.

It’s the first new map since 1971, and reflects extensive urban growth. "Traditionally in India, the perception of being a pro-urban politician was a kiss of death," said the managing director of an Indian consulting firm. "But parties are responding to a new urban reality, and a middle class is finding their voice."