KARNATAKA

Industrialist's candidature criticised



K.N. Venkatasubba Rao

Such a practice will prove detrimental: B.K. Chandrashekar

Vijay Mallya was elected to the Rajya Sabha from the State in 2002In 2004, Chennai-based industrialist M.A.M. Ramaswamy was elected

BANGALORE: The candidature of industrialist Rajiv Chandrashekar for the Rajya Sabha elections has evoked much criticism from legislators.

A good number of legislators have expressed their opposition to fielding a person from outside the ranks of politics, and that too someone who is not from Karnataka. They are of the view that such persons are not familiar with the issues and problems facing the people of the State. Moreover, only those with a record of service to the people should be selected.

Till recently, domicile restrictions were imposed under the Representation of the People Act for those seeking election to the Rajya Sabha.

They note that unlike some other States, persons from outside the State are being helped to get elected to the Rajya Sabha from the Legislative Assembly. It was industrialist Vijay Mallya in 2002 and the Chennai industrialist M.A.M. Ramaswamy in 2004.

The former Congress Minister B.K. Chandrashekar, MLC, is of the view that persons without stature in the field of politics are strangers to the issues facing the State. Prof. Chandrashekar said that the practice of electing persons alien to the State and to the field of politics will prove detrimental to the public life of the country.

While Prof. Chandrashekar was forthcoming in expressing his views, some legislators were willing to discuss the issue but did not wish to be quoted.

According to Prof. Chandrashekar, legislators in general feel that electing persons who are keen on serving their own interests will neither serve the State nor the country.

"I am opposed to the culture of electing rich persons with questionable qualifications in terms of their concern and conviction in responding to public issues and the needs of society," he said. He also noted that even the BJP member of the Rajya Sabha from the State, M. Venkaiah Naidu, does not have any emotional affinity with Karnataka though he is a seasoned politician. Nor is he domiciled here. Electing someone to the Rajya Sabha without assessing his merits in representing the State will gradually change the political structure of the country, he warned.