Pitted against Lingayat strongman and BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa, former chief minister S Bangarappa’s daughter Geetha Shivrajkumar is hoping that Shimoga will see her the way it saw her father for many decades.
“My mother asked me to contest Lok Sabha elections to serve the people of Shimoga. Based on her request and support from my husband, I have entered politics. There is not going to be any stepping back. I will continue in this field for a long time,” the wife of Kannada film star Shivrajkumar said after making her decision, as the Janata Dal Secular tries to wrest the Shimoga parliamentary seat from the BJP’s control.
The daughter-in-law of Kannada cultural icon Dr Rajkumar, who is set to make her political debut in a region dominated by her socialist father for three decades before his death, is hoping to recreate the magic of her father’s days with her film star husband in tow.
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At a media interaction organised by the Press Club of Bangalore and Bangalore Reporters Guild, Geeta said politics is not new to her since she grew up in the home of S Bangarappa. She said she had learnt how to respect people from her own family and her in-laws.
The JD(S) had given opportunities to Bangarappa at a critical stage in his political career and responsibilities to her brother Madhu Bangarappa leading her to join the party, she said.
“I have not done anything wrong. So, I need not fear anyone in politics. I consider Yeddyurappa as one of the many candidates I am contesting against. There is nothing other than this in my mind. I hope the people of Shimoga will hold me in high esteem since Bangarappa did a lot for them,” she said.
“I will file my nomination on March 24 and then go to people at the gram panchayat levels to know what I should do for them. I will come to know the problems of common people and then I will work to solve them,’’ she said.
She also clarified that JD(S) leaders like H D Devegowda and H D Kumaraswamy were not trying to capitalize on the image of the family of Dr Rajkumar and sympathy for Bangarappa, who died three years ago.
Meanwhile, her husband and Kannada star Shivarajkumar said he will work to help his wife win the election and clarified that he will not work for the JD(S). “I will be campaigning for my wife and not for the party. One candidate from the JD(S) approached me to campaign for him too. But I refused,” he said. He also clarified that he was not entering politics.