Why this sudden change of candidates midway? Your son Dr Avinash has replaced your brother Ramchandrappa as the candidate.
Initially we decided to give the ticket to my brother. But a large number of people, especially youth pressured us saying they will not work if the ticket is not given to my son. It’s a hard decision which I have taken with tears in my eyes. I have only one son and he was married just five months ago. I know very well that politics is not a bed of roses. He is writing his final year PG exam in general medicine but in the larger public interest, I have told him to prepare to enter politics. We are a family of freedom fighters, we have to work for the good of the people. There is a lot of unfinished work in the constituency which needs to be completed. So I told him to give up medicine and enter politics to serve the people.
In the just concluded election, you and other Bharatiya Janata Party leaders accused Mallikarjjun Kharge of promoting dynastic politics? How do you justify your son’s selection?
No, no, I did not attack Mr Kharge for promoting dynastic politics. I opposed Mr Kharge for promoting Mr Priyank out of turn bypassing the party decision that no first term MLA should be made a minister after the party came to power in 2014. Mr Priyank was made minister bypassing Qamarul Islam, Baburao Chinchansur, Srinivas Prasad and others. Another reason why I opposed Mr Priyank was his autocratic style of functioning. He never took us into confidence; instead he tried to create problems for us by refusing to post officers whose names were recommended by us.