After having supported the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and funded it, independent Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka Rajeev Chandrasekhar has turned down the party’s offer to contest the Lok Sabha election from any constituency in Bangalore.
Mr. Chandrasekhar, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha for a second successive term in 2012, said it would be disrespectful (to the parties) to quit midway through his term.
The AAP, he said, was responsible for changing the political discourse and bringing idealism into politics, he said.
In an interview with The Hindu, Mr. Chandrasekhar welcomed new entrants to politics such as Nandan Nilekani and V. Balakrishnan, both from Infosys, contesting the elections. “The arrival of rich, self-made men” into politics was certainly a “very good sign”, he said.
He, however, felt they should not behave like traditional politician. “Instead, they should debate on transparency and truth, present their or their party’s ideology and vision vis-a-vis the elections.”
Mr. Chandrasekhar did not find it appropriate on the part of some candidates, including Mr. Nilekani, to raise local issues such as traffic in Bangalore as part of their campaign. “Mr. Nilekani remained silent about these local issues during the elections to the Karnataka Assembly in 2013 and during the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike elections in 2010.” “One can’t sit in the Lok Sabha and discuss water supply or traffic issues of Bangalore,” he said, and added that MPs legislate and oversee policies at the national level.
Mr. Chandrasekhar said awareness about the ensuing elections among people was at an “all-time high” and anticipated a higher turnout of voters in Bangalore. The buzz on social media about the elections could be estimated from the presence of at least 15 lakh people in Bangalore who had chosen politics and social concerns as their areas of interest on such platforms.