Dancing Hens and Rorschach Tests

So campaigning has ended ahead of the Karnataka elections to be held on Saturday. So this is a good opportunity to let voters in Bangalore know the “shapes” of their constituencies, if it is going to have any impact on their voting decisions.

Here is what the 25 constituencies that lie entirely within the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits look like. You are encouraged to make your own guesses on what each constituency looks like.

The “shapes” of various constituencies in Bangalore.

For one, Padmanabha Nagar (which is where my house is situated, but where I don’t vote) looks like “a hen doing ballet” as Thejaswi Udupa once described it a few years back. Malleswaram, which is next to it in the above grid, looks like a hen sitting down (according to me). Rajarajeshwari Nagar, which covers a huge swathe of land in the Western suburbs looks like a cartoon character. And I won’t say much about Shanthi Nagar (the colour scheme in the graph denotes the population density of the BBMP wards that form the constituency).

The reason we have such weird shapes is because of gerrymandering – lines having been drawn arbitrarily at some point in time to help some incumbent party. These constituencies were used for the first time in the 2008 state elections (following delimitation earlier that year), and they lie along the same lines as BBMP wards (in fact, a given BBMP Ward contributes to only a single constituency).

Have fun with your interpretations!

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