Krishna Palemar: Journey from a Travel Agent to State Minister
Exclusive Interview with Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore, Jun 18: Businessman turned politician Krishna J Palemar dons the role of a Minister with ease and aplomb as is expected of him. Widely credited for bringing the BJP to power for the first time in the history of Mangalore City Corporation, two-time MLA Palemar is modest about his accomplishments and is clear-cut about his priorities i.e. to make Dakshina Kannada a model district.
The people of the district feel that Palemar has been rewarded handsomely for the good work he has done as a MLA. In a free-wheeling chat to Daijiworld, Palemar, Minister for Fisheries, Ports and Inland Water Transport; Small Savings and Lotteries who is also the District-in-charge Minister for Dakshina Kannada and Madikeri, discusses about his childhood days, his entry into politics and his subsequent elevation to a cabinet rank Minister in the Yedyurappa-led BJP Government.
When BJP received a setback in Dakshina Kannada you have been able to win by a thumping margin in the recent elections. What do you attribute your success to?
As a MLA from the erstwhile Surathkal constituency I have worked hard for the betterment of the constituency and its people. An elected representative should be easily accessible to the common people and I ensured that the people of my constituency could come to me any time. Coming from a poor family I did not forget my roots and mingled freely with all sections of the society. Their love, respect and trust has been the main cause of my victory.
Q. Does it mean to say that you have been accepted by all sections of the society….
A. From a victory margin of 3,800 in 2004 I have won by a margin of more than 14,000 votes which goes to prove that minorities, educated, intellectuals and common people have chosen me to be their representative. In the 2004 elections I had 27 wards of the city corporation in my constituency. This year they have been reduced to 20 and I have been able to get a lead of 13,400 in these 20 wards.
From the new wards added to my constituency from areas around Gurpur I have polled only 1200 votes. I would have won by an enormous margin but for the delimitation as 7 wards of my constituency were merged with Mangalore South constituency. My thumping win proves beyond doubt that it is only my work which has been instrumental in my victory.
Q. Is it true that Nagaraj Shetty’s loss is your gain as you would not have become a Minister if Mr Shetty had won?
There is no hard and fast rule that there should not be two ministers from the same district. My party values the competence of a leader and rewards accordingly. I have not lobbied with any one to get minister ship. My talents have been spotted and my work has been recognized and I am happy about it. My main maxim is that the party should grow at my expense and not vice versa.
It is said that you had prepared the ground work 2 years back by ensuring BJP’s victory in Corporation elections and then by installing Ganesh Hosbettu as Mayor….
It is true that largest number of Corporators got elected from my constituency as a result of the hard work done by the party workers under my guidance. Electing Ganesh Hosabettu as Mayor was the collective decision of the party.
Q. Who is your inspiration in public life?
The late U S Mallya has been a source of