Metrolife: Lone rangers trying their luck

Metrolife: Lone rangers trying their luck

Seven Raj

Metrolife introduces you to first-timers obscured by big parties and high-profile leaders, but with a claim to fame

Seven Raj- Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party

The real estate dealer is known for his affinity for the number seven and the colours red and white. He speaks seven languages (his mother tongue is Malayalam) and wears a crown symbol and number 7 embroidered on all his suits and shirts. His blazer has seven buttons. Everything in his life, from clothes to furniture to cars to gadgets, is in red and white.  

“My real name is Number Seven. I was the seventh child and my father wanted a name that didn’t signify any caste or religion,” he says.

An admirer of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, B R Ambedkar, and MGR, Seven Raj says they are instantly recognised by their attire. He adopted a distinct dress code so that people would recognise him.

His parents were devotees in a spiritual centre in Kerala. The ashram, which had a policy of ‘no cash, no religion’, allowed people to wear only white. So for almost 25 years, Seven Raj wore only white, except when he had to wear his school uniform.

He was refused admission in a school because of his long hair (“the ashram did not allow us to cut our hair”). His father had him wear it in a Punjabi turban. 

Seven Raj invokes God in almost every sentence. He says he doesn’t drink or smoke but is a good dancer. Following his father’s footsteps, he has named his son Indian Raj and his daughter Indian Rani. His children usually wear other colours but when the entire family is together, they wear only red and white. 

Asked why he chose to align with KPJP (Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party), he says he was initially assured a ticket by the Aam Aadmi Party but they gave it to IAS officer Renuka Viswanathan at the last minute. That is when he joined hands with KPJP as its ‘auto’ symbol attracted him.

If he loses-
Seven Raj has a real estate business. “It will be the people who will lose out if they don’t vote for me,” he says.

If he wins-
Seven Raj says he will arrange free food for at least 700 poor people Sunday: “It will be strictly vegetarian as many beggars are vegetarian.”
He also promises ‘auto ambulances’ for poor people, senior citizens, and pregnant women. 
He plans to open Seven Raj Charitable Ashram. “It will be a red and white ashram for beggars,” he says.
Affordable medical treatment is also on his agenda. 

Subramanyam Sharma Gouravaram
Subramanyam Sharma Gouravaram

Subramanyam Sharma Gouravaram is the Malleswaram candidate for All India Mahila Empowerment Party (MEP). 

The Harvard University law graduate is the grandson of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the first Vice President and the second President of India.  

Subramanyam is not new to politics but is contesting for the first time. He heads the Sudeeksha Group, which is into retail, infrastructure, dairy farming and legal consultancy. It is based in Bengaluru with a presence in four countries. 

“In my constituency, 10 years of anti-incumbency, lack of development and a literate electorate will work in my favour. They want to vote for a qualified, literate person who can bring about a change in society. I am that change,” he told Metrolife.

Boasting a clean image, he considers the big parties “no serious contenders.” 

He says he is carrying forward “the rich legacy of a great person who worked in Parliament for three terms.”

He has met voters and attended a Town Hall meetings conducted by residents of the constituency. “They have all given their manifestos to me; they are specific about what they want,” he says.

As official spokesperson of MEP, he says the six-month-old party is giving sleepless nights to bigwigs. The party has fielded candidates in 215 constituencies in Karnataka.

Subramanyam’s grandfather is honoured across India, with his birthday being celebrated as Teachers’ Day. 

If he loses-
He plans to contest again, he says, laughing. 
“On a serious note, I have to decide to be in public life and I will do that,” he says.

If he wins-
Subramanyam wants to “bring back the historic glory of Malleswaram.”
“I will provide free solar power to the entire constituency. I am also going to ensure that all government hospitals and schools are back in action and two ambulances are available in every ward,” he told Metrolife.