Prathap Simha, newspaper columnist and author of a Narendra Modi biography, is one of the most talked-about BJP candidates this election. Simha, whose nomination from Mysore has triggered murmurs of dissent among senior leaders, discusses his arrival in politics in this interview.
Why did you decide to contest?
As a journalist, I have been always connected to society and expressed my views on development. Contesting is just a natural step towards becoming an agent of change. Of course, like many others, I am inspired by Modiji. He signifies hope and has specific ideas for developing the country.
It has been said you were fielded on the insistence of Modi and the RSS.
My selection has been accepted at the local, state and national levels. Some media houses are reporting internal party discussions that took place before the finalisation of candidates.
As a new face in the region, how will you convince voters?
It is true that I am new to the region. But I have a readership base in the Krishnaraja, Narasimharaja, Chamaraja and Chamundeshwari regions. In Kodagu, apart from the readership base, the people there are a race of patriots ready to serve the nation. I believe that with a leader like Modi, they will support me in my campaign. In Hunsur and Piraiyapattana, we need to reach out more.
What will your campaign focus on?
The focus of the BJP campaign is national empowerment, for which electing Modi to power remains the key. Other parties speak on terrorism, black money, poverty eradication and eventually after coming to power do nothing about it. People are interested in electing a leader with clear ideas. Modiji has already shown he can be counted on.
Will you continue to be a journalist?
I will continue to write columns.