Nation Politics 10 Mar 2019 Prajwal will be in H ...

Prajwal will be in Hassan and I, here: Nikhil Kumaraswamy

Published Mar 10, 2019, 2:09 am IST
Updated Mar 10, 2019, 3:40 am IST
Nikhil Kumaraswamy could have an uphill task before him.
JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, his wife Anita and son Nikhil at the Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Chikkamagaluru on Thursday. (Photo: DC)
 JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, his wife Anita and son Nikhil at the Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Chikkamagaluru on Thursday. (Photo: DC)

Until he made up his mind to contest the coming Lok Sabha poll, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, was more known as an upcoming actor of the Kannada film industry.  But being a part of the Deve Gowda clan and seeing that his father, H D Kumaraswamy is the Chief Minister of the state, it was perhaps inevitable that he should give in to the call of politics. Widely expected to contest from the Mandya constituency this Lok Sabha poll, Nikhil may, however, not have the easy launch his family may want for him. With Ms Sumalatha Ambareesh,  wife of the late actor/politician, M. H Ambareesh, who has represented it in the past, seeming determind to contest from it, even if need be, as an independent, he could have an uphill task before him. He spoke of this and more in an interview with Bhaskar Hegde. Excerpts:

Just when you are getting a firm footing in films, you have decided to enter politics. How did that happen?
My grandfather and father are in politics and the workers too wanted me to contest. So we have conceded to their demand.


Some say that more than the party workers, it is your father, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy who wants to make you a leader in politics while he is in power.
No, not at all sir. Also, no one is disappointed with my entry. Father is the chief minister, no doubt. For instance, at a meeting on Thursday night with taluk and zilla panchayat members, defeated ZP candidates and MLAs, everybody said I should be the candidate. This question of Kumaraswamy being desperate to establish me in politics does not arise.

There are some who feel that dynastic politics is going too far. How?
You tell me, how many of the 38 MLAs and 18 MLCs are from my family? Mr Deve Gowda (his grandfather and JDS supremo) has worked hard to build the party and nurtured hundreds of leaders. To save the party, it’s necessary for good leaders to come and take over. It may not work just because I am the son of  Mr Kumaraswamy. Unless I respond to the people’s problems and mingle with them, they will not respond.


Both you and your cousin, Prajwal Revanna are entering electoral politics at the same time. But could he, in future, pose a threat to you in politics?
I don’t think like that. Why should there be any competition between us? He too should grow. He is an endearing brother of mine and has been working for over four years to come up in the ranks. He deserves to get the party ticket. Don’t go by social media, where people want to plant such ideas. Prajwal will be in Hassan and I, here. So there will be no room for confusion or confrontation.


Why have you zeroed in  on Mandya for your debut in politics?
This decision was taken in the interest of the party based on an understanding of the pulse of people and  consultations with other leaders.

Many film personalities have decided to support her if she contests the polls and they may campaign for her too.
I am also a part of the Kannada film industry. One or two may come. I am not bothered who campaigns for her.

Don’t you think your entering politics will affect your film career?
I have not thought about it. The people and the party wanted me (to contest) and so I decided to. They have recognised me and it is a real calling for me too. The people of Mandya are my top priority. The film industry takes second place in my agenda.   


Can you manage to keep a foot each in both?
I will have a lot of responsibility now and so I will think of films later.