Will preserve natural beauty of Mysuru-Kodagu: Yaduveer
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Will preserve natural beauty of Mysuru-Kodagu: Yaduveer

April 23, 2024

Of the 28 Lok Sabha Constituencies in Karnataka, Mysuru-Kodagu holds significant prestige within the old Mysore region. Its prominence was further elevated with Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the titular king of the erstwhile Mysore royal family, making his electoral debut.

He is contesting as the BJP-JD(S) alliance candidate under the banner of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Yaduveer’s candidacy has garnered nationwide attention, with his dedicated efforts aimed at securing victory. Amid his hectic campaign schedule, Yaduveer took some time to share his thoughts on the 2024 General Elections and his candidature with Star of Mysore. Here are the excerpts.

By SBD

Star of Mysore (SOM): You’ve been actively campaigning. How’s the response been?

Yaduveer: The response has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s heartening to see people greeting me with such enthusiasm. There’s a collective determination among leaders, party workers and the public to re-elect Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister.

Additionally, there’s a deep emotional connection between the people and the Palace, remembering the contributions of our ancestors during the princely rule.

SOM: What was your reaction when your name was announced as a BJP candidate? Did you anticipate it?

Yaduveer: With several aspirants vying for the ticket, including myself, I remained hopeful and mentally prepared for the decision to be in my favour.

SOM: What drew you to politics?

Yaduveer: My interest in politics grew, particularly after the adoption ceremony into the erstwhile Mysore royal family. However, I wasn’t initially serious about it. It was only in the past year that I began contemplating a serious involvement in politics. Power is pivotal for implementing large-scale social initiatives and achieving this often requires election as a people’s representative, enabling one to enact reforms within the established legal framework.

SOM: Your father, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, was elected to Parliament from the Congress in the Mysuru Constituency (later Mysuru-Kodagu) four times. Did the Congress extend an invitation for you to join the party?

Yaduveer: At the Palace, we maintain cordial relations with all political parties and leaders, especially concerning matters related to the Palace. While some Congress leaders extended personal invitations, I prefer not to elaborate further on this topic.

SOM: Despite being educated in Bengaluru and abroad, you often emphasise your bond with Mysuru from childhood. What plans did you have for Mysuru?

Yaduveer: My desire has always been to contribute to preserving Mysuru’s rich heritage. Now, with the opportunity to work at a larger scale, there’s a chance to realise this vision, especially with PM Modi’s proposal for a Heritage Corridor connecting Mysuru, Hampi and Badami. We can act as a catalyst in making this ambitious project a reality.

SOM: Before your candidacy announcement, meeting you was quite challenging. How do you feel about the sudden change, being among the people, receiving felicitations and engaging in sloganeering?

Yaduveer: While some have criticised the perceived inaccessibility of those associated with the Palace, we have always prioritised meeting with people who visit us. Now, I’m delighted to be amidst the public, experiencing their affection and warmth first-hand.

SOM: If elected as an MP, what vision do you have for the future of Mysuru?

Yaduveer: It’s our responsibility to uphold the rich traditions of Mysuru and Kodagu, as expected by the people. Preserving our heritage, both tangible and intangible, is paramount. The PM has echoed many of my thoughts on this matter, emphasising the importance of protecting monuments and traditions.

SOM: Mysore Palace and Chamundi Hill share a deep historical connection, yet urbanisation seems to encroach upon their surroundings. What is your stance on this issue?

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Yaduveer: When it comes to the development around Chamundi Hill, we must respect its religious significance and ensure that any projects are carried out with due reverence. We should prioritise environmental preservation, public health and adopt an organic approach in any developmental endeavours.

SOM: The sitting MP has mentioned the possibility of bringing Metro Rail to Mysuru. How do you view this proposal, along with Peripheral Ring Road project?

Yaduveer: Before embarking on any major projects like the Metro Rail or Peripheral Ring Road, it’s crucial to conduct thorough feasibility studies. If elected, I’ll ensure that these projects are evaluated meticulously, with a focus on completing ongoing developments efficiently.

Additionally, I’ll prioritise new initiatives as per the needs of the constituency and ensure they align with our cultural and environmental values.

SOM: What are your plans to rejuvenate industrial growth in the Mysuru region?

Yaduveer: Revitalising industrial growth in Mysuru is imperative for economic stability. We need to attract more industries, especially in sectors like information technology, to bolster Mysuru’s position as a complement to Bengaluru. However, development must be balanced with preserving our cultural and environmental heritage, which are key attractions for both locals and tourists.

SOM: Heritage monuments are in a precarious state, lacking serious conservation efforts. Do you have plans to address this issue urgently?

Yaduveer: I’ve been actively involved in efforts to conserve heritage structures like Devaraja Market and Lansdowne Building. Collaborating with heritage experts, I’ve participated in protests and discussions to understand the ground reality. Moving forward, we’ll continue these efforts, underlining pragmatic solutions and raising awareness among the public about the importance of preserving our heritage.

SOM: Education is a key area of focus for you. What are your thoughts on establishing premier institutes like IISc, IIM, IIT and medical institutions in Mysuru?

Yaduveer: Before initiating any such development, feasibility studies are crucial. We must prioritise projects based on their necessity rather than simply adding them to a list. Our decisions should always consider the interests and needs of the people in our region.

SOM: How do you plan to empower the youth, making them valuable assets to the nation?

Yaduveer: My focus is on fostering an environment where youth are not just job seekers but also job creators. This involves not only nurturing talent but also retaining it. Many talented individuals leave for cities like Bengaluru, Chennai and Mangaluru for opportunities. We need to develop industries and the IT sector in Mysuru to provide ample opportunities locally.

SOM: Are there any leaders whose qualities you admire and seek to emulate?

Yaduveer: I deeply respect PM Modi for his leadership and tireless work ethic. I also admire former CM S.M. Krishna for his patience, tolerance towards criticism and his inclusive approach in public life. There’s much to learn from leaders like them and I aim to incorporate their qualities into my own approach.

SOM: How do you foresee this election impacting the relationship between the Palace and the people amidst ongoing legal disputes?

Yaduveer: The enduring bond between the Palace and the people remains unaltered, rooted in tradition and shared history. If elected, I will honour the legal framework while serving within defined boundaries. Legal disputes are governed by judgments and will naturally take their course.

SOM: Beyond reverence for the royal family, why should the people rally behind                                   your candidacy?

Yaduveer: My commitment to serving the people of Mysuru is driven by a deep emotional connection. I see this as an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to our society and I humbly seek the support of the people in this endeavour.

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SOM: Do you believe the 10-year tenure of PM Modi and the developmental efforts of Prathap Simha as MP will influence your campaign?

Yaduveer: Both PM Modi’s vision of ‘Viksit Bharat’ and the ongoing developmental initiatives by our current MP align with the aspirations of the people. Their contributions, alongside those of past leaders from various parties, have left a lasting impact on our region and I trust they will positively influence this election as well.

SOM: Is the BJP optimistic about securing a third consecutive victory here?

Yaduveer: We have confidence in our efforts and the support of the people. The pulse of the electorate will ultimately determine the outcome and we remain hopeful of a positive result.

SOM: How do you perceive the potential challenge from the Congress candidate?

Yaduveer: Each candidate brings their own strategies to the table. However, my focus is solely on connecting with the people and presenting my plans for the Constituency. I believe in earning the support and blessings of the electorate through transparent and dedicated efforts.

SOM: How do you maintain such patience in dealing with various issues?

Yaduveer: Patience is a virtue ingrained in the ethos of our heritage, passed down through generations of Mysureans and Kannadigas. It’s a quality we all should strive to uphold for our collective well-being.

SOM: Are you content with the support from leaders and workers of the BJP-JD(S) alliance?

Yaduveer: The coordination between the BJP and JD(S) has been exemplary, with leaders from both parties working together seamlessly. I’m grateful for their support and unity.

SOM: What are your plans for environmental conservation and the beautification of lakes in Mysuru?

Yaduveer: Environmental conservation and lake beautification have been focal points of my efforts. If entrusted with a greater role, I will continue to prioritise these initiatives, working diligently for the preservation of our natural heritage.

SOM: How does the BJP’s ‘Sankalp Patra’ plan to counter Congress’ guarantees?

Yaduveer: When it comes to national interests, people are increasingly vigilant, carefully considering matters of security, tradition and culture. The faith that all Indians will vote in the best interest of the nation has strengthened.

SOM: What’s your projection for the number of LS seats NDA will secure in the State?

Yaduveer: We (NDA) are confident of securing all 28 LS seats.

SOM: Are recent unfortunate incidents being politicised?

Yaduveer: Whenever such incidents occur, it’s natural for people to express their anger through protests and movements. We peacefully seek justice, having faith in the legal and judicial systems. During elections, such incidents often take on political dimensions. Our only demand is swift justice for the victims.

SOM: What qualities do you believe are essential for a public representative?

Yaduveer: Patience, tolerance and a commitment to serving above and beyond the expectations of the people with honesty.

HIGHLIGHTS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Viksit Bharat’ and the ongoing developmental initiatives by our current Mysuru-Kodagu MP Prathap Simha align with the aspirations of the people. Their contributions, alongside those of past leaders from various parties, have left a lasting impact on our region and I trust they will positively influence this election as well.

We must prioritise projects based on their necessity rather than simply adding them to a list. Our decisions should always consider the interests and needs of the people in our region.

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