Kodagu is the birthplace of river Cauvery and it is this issue that has been the flashpoint between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. While it can be an election issue in most part of the Cauvery basin, the politics in Kodagu has stayed clear of this issue.
The Congress announced its list of candidates for the Karnataka assembly elections on Sunday and H S Chandramouli, the former state public prosecutor of Karnataka will contest on a Madikeri ticket. He is up against Appachu Ranjan of the BJP who has won this constituency thrice.
Chandramouli says that there are a host of issues that he would need to address. In this interview with OneIndia, Chandramouli details his journey from pleader to the leader while also adding that one of this top priorities would be to bring back the Kodagu regiment.
What prompted you to contest from Madikeri?
It is my birthplace and I have the blessings of Lord Iguthappa and Goddess Cauvery. I need to work for my people as it is my constituency. I am born and brought up here and I know the pain of the people. In my long career as an advocate, I have attained professional satisfaction and now I am here to wipe the tears of the people.
What are the issues in Kodagu that you propose to address?
There are several issues. Issues pertaining to revenue, Akrama-Sakrama, Cauvery problems, pepper issues among other. It is now time to clean up my house.
You are pitched against the BJP which is very strong in Madikeri. What are your chances?
I am going to take the benefit of the anti-incumbency factor. The people have been observing their candidate. They want a new face who is educated.
What is your first priority for Kodagu?
I will have to bring back the Kodagu regiment in the Army. My campaign will be about national integrity and local issues. My focus would be to encourage the people of Kodagu in three areas- Army, Police and hockey.
There was anger about the Tipu issue against the Congress. How will you tackle that?
The Tipu issue comes and goes. There are much bigger issues that one needs to concentrate on. As I said my focus would be on national integrity and local issues.
What about the Lingayat issue? How does that play out in Kodagu?
Caste is secondary in Kodagu. I am a Lingayat myself and this issue will not play out in Kodagu.
A railway line to Kodagu is another issue. How do you tackle that?
I feel that a railway is needed, but without affecting the green cover of the district. You will need connectivity up to Kushalnagar. However, it has to stop there as any line beyond that will affect the green cover. I feel that the better option would be to have a line between Aluru-Kodlipet and Kushalnagar. No green cover will be affected and it would connect Mangaluru as well.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|