Having crossed several hurdles on his way in becoming a member of the legislature, newly-nominated Member to the Karnataka Legislative Council Ivan D’Souza feels he has got a suitable forum to highlight issues concerning Dakshina Kannada district and getting them addressed adequately by the government.
Speaking to The Hindu a day after taking the oath as an MLC, Mr. D’Souza said he had been fighting for the rights of general public for many years. The Council membership, he said, has provided him an opportunity to be the voice of the common man, he felt. A lawyer by profession, Mr. D’Souza has been in the forefront of trade Union activities too.
He said the first thing he wants to get done is renaming the district as Mangalore. Since Udupi was carved out of Dakshina Kannada, there was no point in continuing with the name Dakshina Kannada, he said and noted that legislation could be brought for the same. Renaming was also essential to create Brand Mangalore, which emerged as a hub of higher education, he said.
Having narrowly lost the chance of becoming a member of Legislative Assembly, Mr. D’Souza intends to address the infrastructure woes that the district has been facing. “I would focus on strengthening the road and rail infrastructure in the district, may also be through contributing from the legislator’s fund, he said giving the example of the narrow Gurupur Bridge on the busy Mangalore-Sholapur National Highway.”
At the same time, he would get various works done properly by the bureaucracy so as to facilitate various government programmes reach the targeted groups. “Despite launching several welfare programmes, including Anna Bhagya, the party (Congress) suffered in the Lok Sabha elections. This is mainly because of the message not reaching the people,” he said.
Responding to the reported statement of Mangalore City South MLA J.R. Lobo that he had favoured a non-Christian for the Council, Mr. D’Souza said it is not the community which is important; but the quality of the person and the capacity to work that matters.
High on Ivan D’Souza’s agenda
*Renaming Dakshina Kannada district as Mangalore district
*Promoting Brand Mangalore as an education hub
*Strengthening the road and rail infrastructure
*Facilitating government programmes reach the targeted groups