Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Raghavendra says atmosphere conducive for his victory, Geetha banks on Congress' guarantees

B Y Raghavendra and Geetha Shivarajkumar speak to DH on their plans for Shimoga if elected and how confident they are about their victory.
Last Updated : 02 May 2024, 00:07 IST
Last Updated : 02 May 2024, 00:07 IST

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B Y Raghavendra and Geetha Shivarajkumar speak to DH on their plans for the constituency if elected and how confident they are about their victory. 


How is this election different from the previous three Lok Sabha polls you have faced?

The atmosphere this time is more conducive for my victory, Our campaign took off quite early. People's confidence in Modi ji and poll alliance with JD(S) will help the BJP in this straight contest. Our confidence in our workers is such that my brother (B Y Vijayendra) and father (B S Yediyurappa) are not campaigning much for me here, like D K Shivakumar did in Bangalore Rural or Siddaramaiah in Mysore.

What are your achievements as a three-time MP?

I have brought funds to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore for the development of road & rail infrastructure and lift irrigation projects. Shivamogga airport has become functional and has seen 40,000 footfalls in the last one year, drawing investors, tourists and students. I have also worked as an MP, that is a Member of Panchayat attending to local needs. I have ensured implementation of many of Modi's pet ideas such as "vocal for local".

Will Eshwarappa's contest dim your victory chances?

He is a senior leader who has blessed me in all the elections. Recently, at a meeting, he had even announced that Raghavendra will win by a margin of five lakh votes. Voters are aware of his selfish motives. Even if he takes away some 15,000 to 16,000 votes, we will make up for them somewhere else.

The Yediyurappa and Bangarappa families are facing each other for the fifth consecutive time. What do you have to say?

This is not a fight between two families, but two ideologies.


How is the campaign going on and how are the people responding?

Campaigning is quite brisk and I have reached out to people across the constituency. People, particularly women, are showering their love and affection on me as if I am their sister or a daughter.

How is the situation different now from the 2014 elections that you faced?

I was a candidate of the regional party, JD(S), then. Now, I am contesting as the Congress nominee. Shifting to a national party has changed the situation for the better. Public response this time is pretty huge.

What are the major issues in the constituency that need attention?

In this Malnad region, villages on the periphery of forests lack basic amenities such as road connectivity. This is hindering children's education badly as they can't even go to schools. If elected, addressing this problem will be my first priority. I will also focus on getting mobile phone towers in these villages to improve communication. I will also work to solve the problems of those displaced by the Sharavathi project and arecanut growers.

Why should people vote for the Congress?

The Congress has successfully implemented the five guarantees that were announced ahead of Assembly polls. We walked the talk. Now, the guarantees announced at the national level will benefit people in a big way. Only Congress can unite people of all castes and creeds and make Karnataka a 'Sarvajanaangada Shanthiya Thota'. So, people should vote for the Congress.

Published 02 May 2024, 00:07 IST

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