A motley crew by her side, Nina promises corruption-free politics

A motley crew by her side, Nina promises corruption-free politics

From being a child rights activist to a contestant in the Lok Sabha elections, Nina P Nayak has come a long way. A former chairperson of Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR), she is the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate in Bangalore South. 

On Saturday, she toured Hampinagar, Girinagar and Vijayanagar, with about 50-odd party volunteers, including young boys and girls who rode bikes and autorickshaws and raised slogans in her favour. 

Mounted on an open jeep and wearing the signature AAP cap which also protected her from the blistering sun, Nayak went from one locality to another. Around 3 pm, the ‘roadshow’ stopped at the Hampinagar bus stand for a lunch of curd rice. It was during this short break from the hectic canvassing that she got time to speak to Deccan Herald. 

But even before Nayak engaged in a formal conversation, she had words of appreciation for her volunteers. “These volunteers are our real asset, who are working tirelessly without demanding anything from the party or the candidate,” she remarked. “All that these youth want is a corruption-free India. Can you get to see such volunteerism in any political party today?” 

The volunteers were a motley crew — young boys and girls as well as 70-year-olds! There were Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. Will the AAP make any impact in Bangalore South? “People are so angry with corrupt politicians that they want a change. We will register our presence very strongly in this election, which will leave our rivals flabbergasted,” she asserted. 

Nayak is conscious of the fact that Arvind Kejriwal’s short stint as Delhi chief minister, which his rivals describe as “escapism”, may have “some impact” on her prospects. 

“It’s a propaganda created by our rivals to stop us from rising at the national arena and to divert people’s attention from the real issues. Only the upper middle class, who are always glued to news channels, will subscribe to this propaganda. But the majority of the people knows what we stand for,” said Nayak. 

As the AAP depends solely on donations, Nayak admitted she had been canvassing with limited resources. “At the end of each day, we find we have little funds, and the next morning we see some donations in our account from the party to sustain our campaign,” she said. “We have now stopped bothering about funds.” 

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