Chamaraja Assembly Constituency in the city boasts of having the highest number of educated voters. However, with the Assembly elections scheduled for May 10, it has become a prestigious battleground for the native residents of Kannegowdana Koppal (K.G. Koppal).
In this new scenario, K. Harish Gowda, who previously ran as an independent in the 2018 elections and gained 21,282 votes (15.14 percent of total votes cast in the Constituency), has become the Congress candidate this time around.
With a team of young campaigners, Gowda has been actively canvassing for support. He took some time to share his thoughts with Star of Mysore. Here are some excerpts.
By S.B. Devaraj
Star of Mysore (SOM): How do you feel about the opportunity to contest the election with Congress, a national party?
Harish Gowda: There were two strong contenders for the ticket in Chamaraja Constituency, but I was chosen by the party High Command, including AICC President M. Mallikarjun Kharge, former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah and KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar. It’s definitely an honour to be a candidate of a national party like Congress, but it also comes with added responsibility.
SOM: You ran as an independent in the last election, but this time you are running with Congress. How have the voters responded to you?
Harish Gowda: In the previous election, my friends and well-wishers supported me despite not having the backing of any national party. This time around, I have the support of several National, State and local leaders who have emboldened me. People have welcomed me like their own affectionate son wherever I go, and they have pledged their support to me, promising to vote me to victory. I am confident of winning the election and am filled with hope.
SOM: Do you have any knowledge of the grievances related to the Constituency?
Harish Gowda: Yes, I have been involved in various service activities in the Constituency for the past 15 years, so I am well aware of the issues that people face. I have also given thought to solving these issues. Providing solutions to pressing issues is not only about building and asphalting roads, but it is also the responsibility of an MLA to address them.
SOM: If you win, what will be your top priority?
Harish Gowda: My first priority will be to establish a corruption-free administration in the Constituency. I will also focus on maintaining law and order and ensuring the distribution of title deeds to those who do not have a roof over their heads.
SOM: What is your promise to the voters?
Harish Gowda: My promise to the voters is to address the long-pending demand for granting Ashraya Houses and sites and to work towards addressing the grievances of the people. I aim to create an environment where even those in the remotest areas can reach out to me for solutions to their problems. I will honestly work towards ensuring that Government facilities reach all sections of society.
SOM: Have any serious issues been brought up by the voters during your canvassing?
Harish Gowda: Yes, voters have expressed concerns about the lack of law and order in the Constituency and the need to create a peaceful atmosphere. I have also been made aware of issues related to inflation, unemployment and partisan attitudes that are widely prevalent. If elected, I will focus on solving these problems as an MLA.
SOM: How is the support of youth voters? Are there any tactics in play to attract them?
Harish Gowda: The majority of the youth voters in the Constituency are in my favour, and I did not find it necessary to specifically target them during the election campaign. Over the past 15 years, I have worked alongside the youth, sharing in their joys and sorrows.
I received over 20,000 votes as an independent candidate in the previous election, all due to the support of these young friends. As I am contesting from Congress, a national party this time, they are working with more enthusiasm and striving hard for my victory.