The specialty about the 2013 Karnataka Assembly elections was corporate leaders not just took an active interest in encouraging people to vote but also endorsed candidates they thought worthy to be legislators.
The initiative - called Bangalore Political Action Committee, or B.PAC - was led by Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Manipal Global Learning Chairman T.V. Mohandas Pai.
The B.PAC endorsed 14 candidates contesting from Bangalore City regardless of their party affiliation. Five of those have won - two from the Congress and three from the BJP, including Karnataka Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar.
The B.PAC supported those persons who it believed would further its agenda and help provide clean and transparent governance. In some constituencies, it supported more than one candidate. The organisation provided Rs 5 lakh to each candidate in a constituency. Where it supported two candidates, it gave Rs 3 lakh each.
"We are very happy that some of the candidates we supported have won. We now expect the winners to take forward the B.PAC's agenda for better governance," says K. Jairaj, a B.PAC trustee and former additional chief secretary. "We will now redouble our efforts and continue with voter registration among other activities."
Before the polls, Mohandas Pai had told Business Today that about 5.5 lakh new voters were added in Bangalore after the organisation started its campaign.
The group wants to extend the initiative to Mumbai with an M.PAC or Chennai with a C.PAC.
"Bangalore is known in many countries where even New Delhi is not known. It is not just a city, but an allegory of sorts," says brand consultant Harish Bijoor, who is a member of the B.PAC's core committee. He says the non-profit initiative is about having different strategies to give the brand Bangalore a very lively feel.
Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, President of B.PAC said the victory of five of the candidates B.PAC had endorsed was a good start for the organization, and that the change of regime in Karnataka was clearly a vote against incumbency, instability and corruption. "Congress should read the message and deliver a clean and stable government," she added.