Karnataka polls: Contesting two seats risky, but will win both, says Ashoka
Over the next few weeks, Ashoka is expected to juggle between the two constituencies.
BENGALURU: In a strategic move, BJP has fielded Revenue Minister R Ashoka from Padmanabhanagar and Kanakapura Assembly constituencies. Ashoka, one of the most influential Vokkaliga leaders, has served earlier as a deputy chief minister and also Bengaluru in-charge minister. By fielding him from Ramanagara, the saffron party wants to make inroads into this JDS stronghold.
Over the next few weeks, Ashoka is expected to juggle between the two constituencies. He speaks to The New Indian Express about the challenges, strategies and responsibilities. Excerpts BJP is fielding you from two Assembly constituencies...
Ashoka: The party has chosen me for both constituencies as they feel I will give a good fight. This is Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s political strategy. I am like a soldier, and it is my duty to take up the responsibility given by the party. I will file the nomination from Padmanabhanagar on April 17 and from Kanakapura on April 18 or 19.
Do you think contesting two seats puts pressure on you?
Yes, it does. It is also risky and I need to work hard. The party has thought about it and has told me to contest. I will win from both segments.
What gives you the confidence to win both seats?
I have developed the Padmanabhanagar constituency and people here will vote because of my development works. In Kanakapura, I ask people if they need the Modi administration or DK Shivakumar’s administration. People there do not want Shivakumar’s administration.
How will you manage to campaign in both constituencies?
I will manage. If I was not contesting from two seats, I would have had to travel to 50 Assembly constituencies, for which the party had given me responsibility. Now, I focus more on these two constituencies.
How difficult is it to win the Kanakapura segment?
In the 2018 Assembly polls, the BJP candidate in Kanakapura secured around 6,000 votes. We have very few BJP workers there. We need to increase the number of party workers and also the vote share. BJP has to break through this wall, and that is why the party is fielding me. We will win with the help of PM Narendra Modi’s name and my good work as a minister.
Can Ashoka become chief minister?
As a revenue minister or earlier as home minister, I have travelled across the state. No other leader has travelled like me. Do not restrict me to Bengaluru. I am a state leader. No one from Bengaluru has become the chief minister of Karnataka so far. It is the party’s decision to appoint a chief minister. Who does not have the desire to become a chief minister if the party gives a chance? We will see what is there in my fate. I have also served as deputy chief minister.