Pics: Brijesh Garodi
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore
Mangalore, Mar 24: With little resources in hand but backed with umpteen number of pro-people works – ranging from issues of farmers to agitation in support of working class - Yadav Shetty, MP candidate of CPI (M) from the Dakshina Kannada constituency says that his party is the 'only alternative' left with the people while the Congress and the BJP have completely failed to deliver what they promised.
Speaking to daijiworld before filing the nomination, Yadav Shetty said that the party has been working for the cause of the deprived and the general public come rain or shine.
"We are not like the Congress or the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP). We are with the people in all seasons. Despite the fact we are not in the opposition, our fight for people’s issues has not stopped," he said in an elaborate interaction with daijiworld. "Our agitations on various issues have awakened the government and helped to closely follow the impact of government policies.
Yadav Shetty is not new to politics. In 1984, Shetty was elected to the mandal panchayat in Kannur and continued there for three consecutive terms. He was also elected as a member of Bajal gram panchayat for two terms. He actively participated in many of the movements launched by his party and agrarian mass organizations, on issue such as house sites for agricultural workers and poor peasants, remunerative prices for areca-nut growers and so on.
He mobilized the panchayat workers of the district into struggles on their demands for minimum wage, dearness allowance, and withdrawal of the requirement of a promotion test for eligible employees. Apart from participating and leading struggles of the working class, Shetty strived to mobilize people against the communal menace haunting the district since the last two decades.
In addition, he is a CPI(M) district secretariat member and district general secretary of Karnataka Pranta Rajya Sangha (KPRS) and currently leads the opposition against the proposed HPCL pipeline project. He is a farmer activist and was part of several agitations. Among them, continued protest demanding justice for rape-murder victim Sowjanya of Ujire and handing over the case to the CBI stands prominent.
However, with the elections turning into a battle of riches, Yadav Shetty feels insecure. He owns little financial resource. It is only the social works he can boast of. Apart from the house which is an ancestral property, the only asset he owns is an old two-wheeler.
Accusing the mainstream political parties for creating vote bank based on religion, CPI (M) candidate says, “Our fight is based on development and welfare of people”. In addition, the party has an alternative policy which is not limited to the LPG. Development is possible with proper focus on agriculture; privatization is a threat to the country, and employment for all is our highlight in the manifesto.
However, winning elections in this constituency is certainly not a cakewalk for the CPI (M). Although the party managed to have one of its representative in the Mangalore City Corporation and a few panchayat members in some villages, CPI (M) has its task cut out when it comes to wooing voters. Considering the past performances, there is a steady decline in the amount of votes garnered by the party. In 1957, Krishna Shetty received 85,373 votes. Since then, the number has come down every election. If it was 59,656 in 1962, in 1967 it was 57,776. In the last Lok Sabha elections, B Madhava could garner only 18,328 votes.
On Monday March 24 CPI(M) candidate Yadav Shetty filed his nomination. He was accompanied by the party members to the DC office.
Addressing the media, he said people are fed up with ill governance of UPA-2 and would exercise their franchise in favour of the Third Front. "Though people had earlier chosen Congress and BJP in the district, this time there likely to choose us," he said.
"The Congress party was busy in corruption and also neglected the farmers. It is also trying to impose ban on areca. I have been a fighter since childhood and I promise that I will fight against this move by the Congress," he said.
Attacking BJP, he said the party was playing the card of 'divisive politics' and 'sparking communal hatred' in the district. "People have to vote for us to put an end to all these problems and give better governance," he urged.