This US grad wants to regain dad’s lost fort

Hosakote BJP candidate Sharath Bacchegowda campaigning at Hosakote assembly canstituency on Friday. DH Photo

In under two hours, BJP’s Sharath Bachegowda accomplished tasks his party national president Amit Shah would take an entire day to finish: hold a roadshow, address corner meetings, garland Ambedkar’s portraits and visit places of worship.

Sharath is the face the BJP is betting on to wrest Hoskote constituency from the Congress. He is the son of senior BJP leader B N Bache Gowda, who lost to Congress’ MTB Nagaraj in the 2013 polls. The Congress has re-nominated Nagaraj.

On Friday, Sharath’s campaign started from Medimallasandra, a village in the heart of Hoskote’s Anugondanahalli hobli, whose backbreaking roads set the tone for his voter outreach programme. “Do you see this road, Amma? Is this what you voted for,” Sharath asked from atop his campaign vehicle to a woman. “Forget the road, there’s no power at home,” the woman shouted back. Clearly, a good road is not her priority this summer. 

The saffron party has chosen Sharath, who was chief executive at a Bengaluru-based nutraceutical firm, to seek the mandate to represent Hoskote. He holds a mechanical engineering degree and went on to study MS in the US. “This is my first election, but I’ve been helping my father since the 2008 elections.”

Sharath told DH: “The central message of my campaign is that nothing has been done in the last five years in terms of roads, water scarcity, education and employment.”

Proximity to Bengaluru was supposed to have worked in Hoskote’s favour. “We are on Bengaluru’s border and this is the state-of-affairs in which people are living,” he said. 

Traversing the dangerously narrow roads of the village, Sharath stopped by at the Madduramma temple, where women are priests, and then at the Syed Rahim Shah Wali dargah. “This may seem like a mere roadshow, but I’m able to achieve two things: One is to obviously seek votes. Two, I’m able to know deficiencies in every village,” he said.

But at the core of his campaign is his attempt to woo the youth. “My appeal is among the youth,” he said. “And I think I’m able to tap them well.”

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This US grad wants to regain dad’s lost fort

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