Bangalore: From a Radio Jockey to a former policy wonk, there are some unusual contenders in the battle for Karnataka. Some candidates are contesting from parties that don't have much of a footprint, but they're all united in wanting to change the political landscape and give voters an alternative.
Rohit, a Radio Jockey, is contesting from Jayanagar, Bangalore. But Rohit who isn't from a major party has his reasons on why he could have a chance as a Loksatta candidate. "I had three options because if you have to get into politics you need to have real good money or you need to be from a political family. You need to have some real estate or something like that happening. I've got nothing of that sort. So you need to have a name of yourself, brand of yourself for people to say 'I know this guy, I can trust him'. So that was a part of that strategy as to why I am working in a radio station," Rohit said.
Then there is Sridhar Pabbisetty, an IIM graduate contesting from Hebbal. As he cycles with his friends canvassing for support, he explains why he gave up his cushy job at a policy think tank. "I realised that our democracy is at risk because there is a huge information asymmetry. The lobbyists know much before hand, huge infrastructure investment of the government and the citizens know later. Ideally it should be the other way round," Sridhar said.
Even parties with hardly a footprint in Karnataka are in the fray. Soumya is a transgender and contesting on a BSP ticket. Soumya hopes to create change for her community. And unlike other candidates she's not making tall promises.
"Promises, I'm not going to give any promises. In fact I want to tell you, so many people are facing lots of problem like Dalits, minorities, Muslims, Christians and our community, they are facing lots of problems in the society. Nobody is taking any action. That's why I became a politician, definitely we will fight for the marginalised community," Soumya said.
Pollsters may not give them much chance, but it's candidates like Soumya, Sridhar and Rohit who're slowly changing the political landscape, especially in cities like Bangalore.