“In Karnataka Modi Wave Is A Myth”
Regarded as a dynamic leader, D K Shivakumar is not new to controversies. “I am not too much perturbed by controversies. I think I emerge stronger and clearer from all the controversies,” he says nonchalantly. He, however, hastened to admit that it was not good to be in controversies always as “it saps the energy and does not allow to be focused”. Shivakumar, who has been given energy portfolio in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government, is also given charge of the politically volatile and high-profile Hassan district in the ensuing elections. He has to ensure the victory of Congress candidate A Manju against the formidable former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. It is rightly said that nothing moves without the knowledge and consent of Gowda in Hassan district which is true to a great extent. The vice-like grip of Gowda and his family is felt in all walks of life as well as in all rungs of the administrative machinery. Before leaving for Hassan, D K Shivakumar had a brief chat with S A Hemantha Kumar, Special Correspondent, in Bengaluru.
How do you feel now that you have been made in-charge of Hassan district? Can you defeat your enemy?
I do not agree with the word enemy. In politics, there are no enemies. We are political opponents. Enemy is too strong a word to be used against our opponents. Now coming to the first part of the question. I think we have a fair chance to win Hassan this time. I am confident of our victory.
What is the basis of your confidence?
People will vote on national issues. This election is going to prove whether you want stability or not; whether you have a secular government or not. Deve Gowda, all said and done, stands for Third Front which, in turn, stands for political instability. People do not trust such a formation. Purely from the party point of view, our candidate A Manju is very strong and is formidable; he is mercurial in movement, has good rapport with the grassroots workers as well as people; has proved to be a effective legislator; he is non-controversial. All these qualities will help us win.
SM KRISHNA PRAISES RSS
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh may have been the target of criticism by its opponents, the Congress and other political parties, barring the BJP, but it has a supporter in S M Krishna, senior Congress leader and former external affairs minister. Addressing a public meeting at Sampangiramanagar in Shivajinagar Assembly constituency in support of Rizwan Arshad, Congress candidate from Bangalore Central parliamentary constituency, Krishna said, “Congress suffers from a disease called over confidence. Look at the RSS. They bring their voters to polling booths.”
Hundreds of Congress leaders and thousands of people who were present in the public meeting were astounded. How come a Congress leader praise RSS? Krishna did not stop there. He further said, “That system (of persuading people to come to polling booth) must be adopted by the Congress too.”
Does it mean that Krishna endorses RSS? “Well, I do not endorse its ideology. Its ideology is divisive, aimed at dividing the society. But one of its methodologies of persuading the voters to come to polling booth is to be appreciated. In fact, this system of coaxing the people to polling booth was once practised by the Congress long back. This has been discarded and all that I emphasised was that old system of maintaining one-to-one contact with the voters needs to be revived,” he told this correspondent.
Krishna, a suave, sober, urbane and sophisticated leader with a long-range vision, has galvanised the Congress cadres in Bengaluru city by jumping into the campaign. “I will go round the state to see that the Congress wins maximum number of seats. Modi wave is a myth in Karnataka. It has been created by some vested interests,” he added. (S A H K)
When you talk of stability, the people have the option of choosing the BJP also.
I also talked of the people choosing a secular government. All this talk of Modi wave is just a myth in Karnataka. The results will show us. I am confident Congress will win more number of seats than any party. I am not entitled to speak on national issues but If I have to say, I think we will return to power, despite all this talk of Modi wave, etc. My honest feeling is that the reality is totally different from that of what is being projected in the media and opinion poll and the people knows the reality about the performance of the Congress-led UPA. The return of Congress at the Centre will surprise our own cadre. Mark my words.
By S A Hemantha Kumar