After joining the Congress, Nandan Nilekani spoke about his objectives and prospects in this interview to Johnson T A:
On why he has joined the Congress:
I believe the Congress represents all people. It is unity in diversity. The Congress gave me the chance to do the Aadhaar card, which is my idea. My father was a Nehruvian who believed in that ideology. The Congress is going through a lot of change and I want to contribute to change.
On his first impression of politics since campaigning:
I have done business, urban governance, government. This is different. But I am very confident because I see a huge desire for change. People want a new person.
On what he sees going in his favour:
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There is a mood for change: people want a new, capable person as leader. They want a leader with experience in areas other than politics. They want a local candidate. I am confident that I will be able to win these elections… I have met so many voters. People are looking for someone who will spend his life looking after Bangalore’s interests and not politicking.
On how he hopes to counter the corruption taint on the party:
Aadhaar is the world’s largest anti-corruption platform with 60 crore cards.
On what he intends to communicate to the people during his campaign:
There is a need for change, need for new people in politics, people with experience of doing things and running things. I have three big experiences. I have been the founder of Infosys, I worked there for 39 years and we created lakhs of jobs. I ran the Aadhar programme which gave India 60 crore Aadhaar cards. For five years I ran the Bangalore Agenda Task Force and got into the nitty-gritty of urban governance — toilets, solid waste management, roads. I bring all these unique experiences. I am a clean candidate and will be contacting people ethically. I am also a local candidate. I am from Bangalore South and have lived here all my life.
On what he has done for Bangalore:
I have done my bit for Bangalore. I was part of the BATF and did a lot of the important reforms in the city.
On how, as a newcomer, he intends to generate support within the local Congress:
I am willing to work with everybody — with national leaders of the Congres, the state president, the chief minister, local MLAs, corporators, block presidents, defeated candidates. I have been meeting everyone and seeking to work with them.
On why he chose to enter politics rather than retire:
I never thought of money as my driver. I really wanted to be of service. Six months ago I decided to join politics.
On changes being attempted in the Congress by Rahul Gandhi:
I know that Mr Rahul Gandhi and the Congress are very serious about changing the party. He is bringing in internal democracy and other things.
On the possibility of him emerging as PM candidate:
Over the next 40 days, my job is to win the Bangalore South constituency for the Congress.