Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil is making his political debut. Contesting from Mandya, he is a third-generation politician from Deve Gowda’s family and the Opposition has been using his entry politics to claim that the JD(S) is a mere extension of Deve Gowda’s family.
Before his stint in politics, Nikhil was a Kannada movie star. However, he says politics is his priority. However, there a rough fight lies ahead of Nikhil and he will be taking on Sumalatha, the widow of famous Kannada actor Ambareesh.
The Quint caught up with Nikhil during his campaign in Mandya and here are the excerpts from the interview.
The last time we saw you, you were acting in films. Now you have taken a political avatar, when did this change happen for you?
This was purely a call taken by the JD(S) MLAs. This just happened and I had never planned it. I just entered movies and I have another movie yet to release now after the elections.
So will you be continuing in films also after this?
Well, I will talk to you about this later. I mean like, this is purely a political interview. This is first preference...this is my first priority. I have a lot of responsibilities. This (politics) comes first.
Another question is the family politics. The JD(S) is said be an extension of your family and nothing more.
I have always been stating this point that when a film star’s son can become a film star, a doctor’s son can become a doctor, why not a politician’s son be in politics. I mean, getting into a politics, is it such a crime?
I am not asking for a Rajya Sabha (seat) or an MLC (post). I am getting voted by the people. There is no harm in that, if they love me, you know, they won’t definitely leave my hand.
One of the most talked-about point is the fact that Sumalatha is contesting the election. She is Ambareesh’s wife, who was a very famous actor in Karnataka. There are lot of speculation about sympathy votes going in her favour in this election.
I’m posing a question to the people of Mandya, whether they want development or whether they want to stick to sympathy. Development is something we prioritise and it is people’s call now
What are your plans for Mandya?
I want to bring in smart schools here for the district. I want to have pilot project done in Mandya district. This is for the betterment of our society, the future of our children. And I want to generate employment in this district, particularly because I see a lot of youth driving taxies in Bangalore and working in hotels for smaller amounts. I want to bring them back here again and generate some employment here.
The JD(S) and theCongress have gone for a coalition, do you think that unity will happen on the ground, because there’s along history of rivalry between the JD(S) and the Congress?
Everything should go well. As a candidate, I respect everyone. I am going to every Congress leader’s door and asking them to support me. It’s left to them. But we sincerely are doing our work, out of 28 constituencies the JD(S) and Congress are competing this election against the other the BJP force. So, they have to do it. They will do it, I guess.