MANGALURU: A medical practitioner-turned-journalist from Puttur, in Dakshina Kannada district, is contesting the Lok Sabha election from the high-profile Varanasi and Amethi constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. He will take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and AICC president Rahul Gandhi respectively.
For Dr UP Shivananda, editor and publisher of a local Kannada daily, winning or losing the election is not important -- his intention is to send a message to create awareness among voters about the basic principles of democracy. “This election has become a Modi-Rahul contest, which goes against the spirit of democracy, where candidates seek votes for themselves and not for their leaders. My contest is to drive home this important message and make democracy stronger,” Shivananda told TNIE from Varanasi.
The 64-year-old has chosen the high-profile constituencies as he thinks he can send across an important message more effectively from there when compared to other constituencies. “I also want this message to reach Modi and Rahul. If I do so, I will be successful in my endeavour.”
Shivanand, in Varanasi for the past few days, is busy meeting people from a cross-section of society, educating them on the importance of giving their vote for a candidate and not his/her leader. Shivananda, who in his paper has written on the dangers posed to democracy by various acts and of political parties, says it is time to save democracy.
He has already submitted his nomination papers from Amethi and Varanasi. It is not the first time Shivanand is contesting an election. In 2009, he contested from Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha seat and got 4,825 votes.