I attended a Bangalore South Lok Sabha Candidates’ debate yesterday, this time held at NMKRV Jayanagar and organized by the Rotary Clubs of South Bangalore.
Only Capt. Gopinath (Independent) had arrived on time. Ananth Kumar (BJP) arrived a bit late but immediately greeted each and every individual in the hall and asked them to vote. When the organizers decided to go ahead even though there were only 2 candidates, Prof. Radhakrishna of JD(S) arrived. Krishna Byregowda (Congress) never turned up at all.
The session was mostly about questions asked by Mohandas Pai (Times of India) to the candidates and gave them roughly a minute each to answer.
Most of the questions were good and thankfully the answers were also forthcoming.
IMHO, Prof. Radhakrishna was rambling more than making sense. Since Krishna Byregowda didn’t show up, I don’t know much about him even though he has spoken well in interviews. Ananth Kumar and Capt. Gopinath were both impressive, made a lot of sense and had vision. It is going to be very tough to choose between these two candidates for me.
Plus points for Ananth Kumar include that he has been an MP four times, been the Civil Aviation Minister, etc. and he answered questions to the point. He indulged in rhetoric about why Congress has brought India down, and why things were great during Vajpayee’s tenure – ignoring these aspects, he seemed like a good candidate.
Plus points for Capt. Gopinath include that he has been an entrepreneur himself – Deccan Aviation made flying possible for the average person, he has been in the army and fought a war in Kashmir, and he voices Bangaloreans’ concerns well. He was vocal about the state of the Metro and questioned why trees in Lalbagh has to be cut down, and the whole crowd cheered for that statement.
Towards the end of the session, the audience also got turns to ask questions, but it turned out to be rhetorical provoking questions rather than questions with real value.
For more details about Bangalore candidates, read the full interviews at SmartVote.in. I’m sure there are more sites out there for the other constituencies in India.
I think there are two takeaways from the day for me.
First, vote for the candidate, not the party. If you think voting for an independent candidate is going to be a “waste” of your vote, think again. Is it better to have 500 excellent people in the Lok Sabha regardless of which party they belong to, or is it better to have 500 people, whose usefulness is doubtful, belonging to 2-3 big parties in the Lok Sabha?
There are good people stepping into politics trying to make a difference and we should encourage them. After all, we don’t jump into politics, let us support those who do. For example: