‘I am confident of breaking re-election jinx

Shobha Karandlaje

Prominent BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje, 52, who is popularly known as Shobhakka across Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency, is busy meeting booth-level workers and campaigning continuously as the Lok Sabha election is just a few days away. She is seeking re-election to Lok Sabha this time.  

Despite her tight schedule of campaigning and meeting the party workers, she showed no signs of weariness when Harsha of DH spoke to her, during her visit to Moodbettu and Ambalpady Shakti Kendras in Udupi district. Excerpts from the interview: 

The election is just a few days away. What’s your strategy now? 

The party’s traditional practice of seeking votes through the door-to-door campaign will be intensified. There will be no huge rallies. We are seeking votes on the need to continue the development programmes.

You will not be voting in your constituency this time also?

I have enrolled my name in the voters’ list in Bengaluru for the sake of convenience. The opposition’s charge that I am an outsider is baseless. I stay in a rented house in Udupi and remain accessible to all. I am not financially strong to own houses wherever I go.

Not just Congress, even NGOs are also sending messages on social media making an appeal to voters not to cast vote in favour of the ‘absentee MP’.

It is true that I could not visit the constituency more often as I was made the general secretary of state BJP. I was also a member of the Standing Committee on Empowerment of Women, Defence and the Joint Committee on the Right to Fair Compensation. But I have used all my influence to get more funds for my constituency. Thus, I was able to get
Rs 569 crore, including Rs 285 crore for Udupi under Central Road Fund (CRF), the state’s only Sakhi Centre in Udupi,
Passport Office in Kundapur
and RK Skill Development College. The construction of GTTC building in Uppuru is being completed and the classes will begin soon.

Is the future bright when no candidate was reelected for the second time since 1998?

I am confident about breaking the 21-year-old record.

If re-elected, what are your plans for your constituency?

I will ensure that the doubling of railway tracks is completed on the Konkan route. We will build flyovers and underpasses wherever needed on NH 66. We will draw water from Varuna and ensure 24x7 water supply to the residents of
Udupi. A spice or pepper park will be set up in Chikamagaluru.

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‘I am confident of breaking re-election jinx

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