Second-line Congress leaders also supporting me: KS Eshwarappa

Rebel candidate in Shivamogga constituency, KS Eshwarappa spoke to TNIE Special Correspondent Ramachandra V Gunari about the present election and situation in the constituency
Former Karnataka deputy CM K S Eshwarappa
Former Karnataka deputy CM K S Eshwarappa

The Lok Sabha election in the Shivamogga constituency took a strange turn with senior politician and former DCM KS Eshwarappa entering the fray as a BJP rebel. He spoke to TNIE Special Correspondent Ramachandra V Gunari about the present election and situation in the constituency. Excerpts:

After touring the entire constituency, what is the response?

It’s overwhelming. Around 70% of BJP and RSS workers are with me. These committed workers have made my job easy to reach out to people. Our Rashtra Bhaktara Balaga has constituted 2,238 booth committees across the constituency and workers are engaged in door-to-door campaigning. People of all castes and communities are supporting us.

Why you decided to contest?

Our leader Narendra Modi always said Congress is in the hands of mother and son and BJP would oppose such dynasty politics. But a similar situation in BJP exists in the state with BS Yediyurappa being a member of parliamentary board, one of his sons being an MP and another son state BJP president. At present, the state BJP is in the hands of BSY family. Second reason is sidelining of Hindutva ideology leaders like CT Ravi, Sadananda Gowda, Pratap Simha, Yatnal and others.

You decided to contest when your son Kanthesh was denied the party ticket. Doesn’t it also mean dynasty politics?

Our PM Modiji and our leaders have decided to go with one family one person in politics. I am not an MLA nor a minister and am not holding any official position. The party could have given the ticket to my son. Yediyurappa had assured Kanthesh of the ticket about six months before the elections and asked him to work in the Haveri constituency.

You still use Modi’s picture in your campaign...

Modi is a world leader. Every Hindu offers a pooja to Lord Ganesha. Can anybody stop anybody from doing so? Modi is my role model and I have kept him in my heart. By approaching court, BJP leaders have insulted Modi. I will continue to spread the ideology of Modi even after the elections.

Are you dissatisfied with the way BJP leaders treated you after the announcement of elections?

Central leaders have not stopped me from contesting the elections. But I am not happy with the way local leaders are behaving. The local leaders are engaged in black magic and had kept kumkum, turmeric, sliced lemon and flowers at the door of Rastra Bhakatara Balaga office in Shikaripura on Wednesday night. Support for Eshwarappa has scared BJP leaders in Shikaripura.

The perception is that you take BJP votes and that helps Congress...

Besides 70% support from BJP and RSS, the second line of Congress leaders in different taluks too are are extending their support to me, as they are sure that their candidate can hardly put up a fight against BJP. JDS leaders are also expressing their support as Vokkaliga community leaders in BJP, C T Ravi, Sadananda Gowda and Pratap Simha, were sidelined. So, we are getting the support from all sections of society and leaders of all parties.

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