It is not for nothing that political parties use film stars in their campaign. And so it was that the muted campaign of R. Roshan Baig suddenly acquired a sparkle when actor Ramya turned up to campaign for the veteran Congress leader and incumbent legislator of the Shivajinagar Assembly constituency on Sunday. This was Ramya’s first poll outing since elections were announced.
Residents of Vasanthnagar sprang from their Sunday evening reverie when fireworks, drumbeats, dancers and loudspeakers announced her arrival. Around 15 minutes after Ramya’s campaign kicked off from the Mt. Carmel College, the road was clogged with around 5,000 people.
But instead of listening to what she had to say, most jostled to get an autograph while others captured her image on their mobile phones. She did not say much though and chose instead to wave from an open jeep protected by a cordon of security men.
She mostly reserved her statements for the media. Speaking to The Hindu she said that the key poll issues are infrastructure, education, healthcare and good administration. She said that she had no problem if people were turning up to see her only because of her stardom.
“I don’t mind at all. It gives the people a chance to get to know me and I get a chance to tell them about my political views,” she said.
Asked to respond to the State government’s citizens service guarantee scheme “Sakala”, Ms. Ramya said that she had not heard of it. “I can’t comment about it without knowing anything about it,” she added.
Asked about the call to amend the Lokayukta Act in the State to give it more teeth, she said, “The existing law has also proved to be quite effective. But no amendment can be effective unless the Lokayukta has good people. Look at what happened when Shivraj Patil (former Lokayukta) was forced to resign.”
Asked why she hasn’t campaigned in Shantinagar where she has been given the charge of one of the booths by the Congress, she said that she had spoken to N.A. Harris and explained her schedule to him.
“I have been really busy shooting. I will campaign hard from now,” she said.