Indian Cities are expanding, by leaps and bounds. The National Capital Region and The Greater Mumbai Region are urban agglomerations which are power centers of our economy. Every second tier Indian City is growing to accommodate the aspirations of the Indian with access to Google and hence the window to the world on their Nokia Asha’s and Micromax’s. Folks from the lower socioeconomic strata take selfie’s on their Chinese made Xylo phones in the Delhi Metro. The Smart Phone is a symbolic totem of an aspiring India and a powerful force multiplier. The Naya Raipurs and Greater Raigad’s are the future of urbanization in the country. The ten odd nodes of the Multi-Billion Dollar Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DIMC) driven new smart cities off a fresh template mirroring the Pudong-Pearl River Delta model of the early 1980’s made China the factory of the world. The DIMC Development Corporation is led by Amitabh Kant, a dynamo of a civil servant which shatters the stereotype of a sarakari babu. Aggressive Visionary Leaders make a world of a difference. Narendra Modi has put the Dholera node of DIMC in Gujarat near Amdavad on steroids with the work progressing on a firm footing.
A BJP led administration from May 2014 would be an enabler for creating urban infrastructure as its voter base is the urban middle class, while in contrast the Congress was welfare scheme oriented as its target consumer oops voter was different. The Urban Voter is being taken seriously finally with Modi and Kejriwal vying for their vote. Kejriwal and the Aam Admi Party have been paradigm shifters for bringing the focus back on the urban voter. Prof. Yogendra Yadav from Gurgaon and an Ashutosh from Chandani Chowk would be a welcome add to debates in the Lok Sabha. The Candidature of IT Visionary Nandan Nilekani from Bengaluru South is a sign that Indian Politics is finally accepting the urban professional.
The Urban voterscape is a myriad canvas of actors. Gurgaon is about a Chakkarpur and Cyber City equally. The Aam Admi Party has a strong appeal for the urban poor in the National Capital Region and Kejriwal’s antics have delivered them the message that we can have a voice in the Vidhan Sabha too. Urban Governance is ultimately about equitable access to public services. The Quality of Life has to improve. The Urban ecosystem is complex with multiple stakeholders with different stakes in the game. Urban India can win only if they vote in the forthcoming polls.
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