Former mayor has knack ofconnecting with electorate

Former mayor has knack ofconnecting with electorate

G Padmavathi loves being in the middle of people.

Known as one of the strongest women representatives, the former city mayor from the Congress and four-time councillor from the Prakash Nagar ward meets several residents in the locality at home before getting off to her campaign early in the morning. Padmavathi is the Congress candidate in the Rajajinagar Assembly constituency.

From the outside, her campaigning style may not look any different. There's the usual door-to-door visits to seek votes from the residents and running into clusters of people in public places.

But Padmavathi has a knack of transforming such tiresomely routine campaigning moments into an opportunity to strike a chord with the voters. She listens to them intently, letting it known that she cares about the issues affecting them. Her interactions with them are polite and never without the warm smile that matches her elegant attire.

"Naanu nimma magalu thara... (I am like your daughter). And, I wish to serve and develop Rajajinagar," she said during her campaign at Assumption Church in Rajajinagar.

Padmavathi started her campaign on Sunday at 6.30 am, stopping by at a couple of parks to interact with the joggers and meeting worshipers at a few churches where she is greeted with warm exchanges.

Such is her connect with the voters that one of them even assured that "our votes are for you this time", as she descended the steps.

"There is a feeling that people need a change in this constituency and I promise to make Rajajinagar beautiful," Padmavathi told DH during her campaign.

She even has a constituency manifesto, which promises a sports club, a community hall for Hindu pontiffs and a multi-purpose gymnasium.

Third time  

This is Padmavathi's third attempt to wrest the constituency from BJP strongman and sitting MLA S Suresh Kumar.

Padmavathi describes herself as a woman with grit. "I have worked day and night when our Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asked us to build over 100 Indira Canteens in the city in two months. It was a tough challenge and we were able to pull it off, despite many hurdles along the way," she said, recalling her mayoral tenure last year.

"It's a good example to show that I'm trustworthy and a hard worker," she added.

A tender coconut seller across the street agrees. "This time we will vote for the Congress since they seem to care for poor people like us," he said.