Surrounded by Congress leaders who are crucial to generating grassroots support in Bangalore South, former Infosys CEO and UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani formally joined the Congress on Sunday, the day after he was named the party’s candidate for the constituency, represented by five-time BJP MP H N Ananth Kumar. Nilekani joined in the presence of state Congress president G Parameshwara and powerful local MLAs such as minister-in-charge of Bangalore Ramalinga Reddy, food and civil supplies minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, Vokkaliga community leader M Krishnappa and S M Krishna camp follower R V Devaraj.
Nilekani said the Congress was in the process of reinventing itself as it has been doing for over 100 years and that he was going to be part of the change process. He said he was joining because it was the party that fought for independence, created the green revolution, brought in liberalisation, the IT revolution and is now fighting for a rights based revolution.
“I think I bring unique experience. I have started a company from scratch as the co-founder of one of India’s biggest IT companies. I know how to create jobs. I have from scratch given identity numbers to 60 crore people.”
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Nilekani said Ananth Kumar had served the constituency for enough. “In every sphere there comes a time when people have to go, even in politics. There is need for a strong change,’’ he said.
Parameshwara said the nomination was an attempt by the party to “send a message to the whole country that good people can be a part of the electoral process”. He welcomed Nilekani’s decision to join the Congress when “everyone is talking of the BJP coming to power”.
All Congress MLAs from Bangalore have the responsibility of ensuring victories for Congress candidates in the three parliamentary constituencies in Bangalore, Parameshwara said.