‘Modi’s image, BJP-JDS alliance will help me win big,’ says Shobha Karandlaje

Opposition allegations, election dynamics and expectations, Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje speaks to TNIE.
Shobha Karandlaje.
Shobha Karandlaje. Express photo.

Polls are coming closer, what are your prospects?

Bangalore North is an old constituency for me as I was Yeshwanthpur MLA and had worked in other assembly constituencies also. There is enthusiasm among BJP workers to make Narendra Modi PM again. BJP’s alliance with JDS gave us strength as former PM HD Deve Gowda joined the NDA. His son-in-law Dr CN Manjunath, Bangalore Rural NDA candidate, joining the BJP is a boost. I am confident of a big win with the combined force of BJP-JDS working in tandem.

You faced a ‘Go Back’ campaign in Udupi-Chikkamagaluru and also in Bangalore North…

Those were a few ticket aspirants who did it to attract media attention. In Bangalore North, some aspirants who had no support of even 10-12 party workers, did it.

MP DV Sadananda Gowda was sulking and one of your MLAs ST Somashekar worked for your opponent. What will be the impact?

Sadananda Gowda took part in all meetings of party workers in the first leg of campaigning. He even convinced the workers. Soon after my candidature was announced, I met him and got his blessings. I don’t want to reply with regard to Somashekar, he doesn’t deserve it.

The Congress is banking on its guarantees. Your take?

It helped them in the assembly elections because they distributed guarantee cards among voters. We cannot deny that. But the guarantees are not reaching the people. Keeping in view the LS polls, Siddaramaiah is borrowing hugely from outside. There is no guarantee that they will be continued after LS polls.

Your opponent raised the issue that your name was also in the ED list, what is your reaction?

It is just an allegation. I have no case against me as I have done no corruption. The previous UPA government conspired and targeted me by instigating officials who had fixed me as the 24th accused. My fight is in court. He (Rajeev Gowda) unnecessarily raised the issue. If he is so intelligent he should have studied the case.

What’s your contribution as Union minister?

I am part of the Modi government’s achievements. Farmers are getting lots of benefits. From importing foodgrains we have a surplus after feeding a population of Rs 142 crore. I am planning an international market for our farmers. Karnataka is progressing in food processing with 3-3.5 lakh small food units being started.

Your plan for Bengaluru?

Better infrastructure and transportation to check heavy traffic. There is a drinking water crisis because of the state government’s mismanagement, Cauvery 5th Stage has to be implemented.

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