At fifty-one, Dr CN Ashwath Narayan is a three-time MLA from Malleshwaram and a strong Vokkaliga leader. But he has never held a portfolio before. But he prepared for the challenge “A cabinet must always be a mix of leaders, in terms of age and experience. The elder leaders can suggest measures while the young bring in a fresh vision. Together they are an interesting combination,” Dr Ashwath Narayan said, in an interview with Ashwini M Sripad for The New Indian Express. Excerpts.
From no portfolio held to Deputy CM. What are the challenges?
In Karnataka, people have become the Chief Minister directly after being elected MLA for the first time. The route does not matter. I have dreams and with executive power, I can fulfil them. Being elevated directly will not make much of a difference.
How will you deal with miffed seniors upset at not being given the post?
I shall gain everyone’s confidence first.
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Your opinion on previous proposals to have three to five corporations and one Greater Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike?
Right from the beginning, our party is against the division of Bengaluru or the Corporation. Using technology we can ensure better governance and communication.
There are four ministers from Bengaluru. Who will be given the post of District-in-charge Minister?
We do not know. As Bengaluru ministers, four of us have decided to sit down once a month to coordinate and take up works.
You are also IT minister. Are you aware of the problems faced by techies?
The only main concern they raise is about mobility, which is a major challenge. In the coming days, we shall meet techies and work towards better and faster movement.
The BJP lost out on coming to power in the BBMP. What is your take on elections next year?
We are going to be more organised this year. The BJP will win.
What are the major challenges for Bengaluru?
On a priority basis, we will take up solutions for traffic congestion, stormwater drains, solid waste management, housing for all poor, pothole-free roads.
You are known as an accessible MLA so far, will this change?
I am still available for any issue. From streetlights to potholes.