Once a top cop, H.T. Sangliana turned to politics and joined the BJP some years ago. He went on to win as MP from the Bengaluru North constituency, but then left the party to join the Congress, becoming its Christian face. However, seeing that the party did not bother to field him these Lok Sabha polls, he left it too. His decision was also in protest over the party's failure to field Christians in any of the 28 parliamentary constituencies in Karnataka. So upset is he with the state of things that he is now considering approaching the Supreme Court to get a quota for minorities among candidates fielded by political parties in all elections. He spoke of this and more as Aknisree Karthik caught up with him for a chat. Excerpts :
You were the Christian face of Congress party, but then why did the party not field you or any other Christian these polls?
It is very disheartening that the Congress party has neglected the minorities. It has denied me a ticket (for Bengaluru Central) and not given even one Christian a ticket in the state. The state leaders and the high command have failed to understand the ground reality and betrayed the community.
Why do you think the party chose Rizwan Arshad over you for Bengaluru Central ?
Rizwan is young and the party may have felt he is young enough to contest from the same constituency if he loses this election. But I would like to recall that I lost the 2009 election on a Congress ticket because of the conspiracies of MLA Zameer Ahmed. He spoiled my chances. It should be noted that despite the conspiracy, the winner (P C Mohan of the BJP) secured only 39,000 votes. But in 2014, the winning margin rose to 1.37 lakh.
Will your exit impact Rizwan's chances in the constituency ?
It is very clear that the Christians are upset with the Congress for betraying us and seeing us a mere votebank. We will have to wait and see what the outcome will be.
Have you been invited to join any other party ? What are your future plans ?
Yes, immediately after I quit the Congress, I started getting calls from various parties, which I do not wish to disclose here. Coming to my future plans, I am in discussion with people and minority leaders, political and legal experts on approaching the Supreme Court with a PIL asking it to introduce a quota system for minorities, be it Christians, Muslims or Sikhs, among the candidates of political parties contesting elections. Once a quota system is established, it can be replicated for all elections, be it state, Central or municipality. This will ensure that the minorities are not ignored by the parties