Exclusive: ‘Congress will bounce back’ – RJ-turned-politician Lavanya Ballal

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (ANK)

Mangaluru, Feb 25: Lavanya Ballal is a RJ-turned-politician, national level social media coordinator and spokesperson of Congress.

She has been always been more than active after taking over the reins of Congress’ national social media unit.

Lavanya was part of an exclusive interview with Daijiworld editor-in-chief Walter Nandalike in Public Challenge on Daijiworld TV 24*7.


Q: You hail from Mangaluru and are well versed in Tulu and Kannada. You have also been a part of National TV debate where you strongly agree with the ideologies of Congress. What is the reason for you to join Congress?

A: I come from a family where people have strong political opinions. I was speaking with one of my friends about the injustice in the society today and he advised me to join the Mahila Congress. Today what our country is and the freedom people are enjoying it is because of Congress. The party has always taken its stand against injustice prevailing in the society. It has now been over three years since I joined Congress.

Q: You belong to the prestigious Ballal-Jain family, would you like to tell us more about your family and your childhood.

A: I was born in Bantwal and studied at SVS College. I got married at a young age given that in the Jain community girls get married off at an early age. The support of my community for my growth is immense. It is quite rare for a Jain woman to be active on social platforms.

Q: Your previous profession was working as an RJ for Radio Mirchi in Mangaluru. You have worked hard to establish the Mangaluru station. Was it your first choice to become an RJ?

A: Not necessarily, I never planned to be an RJ. It was a stroke of luck that I became an RJ and continued in the profession for 13 long years. However, during the 2018 assembly election, I decided to quit being an RJ and chose to become a politician and joined Congress.

Q: It has been just three years since you joined Congress, and although you are young the party has trusted with responsibilities of becoming the national level social media coordinator and state-level spokesperson. What is the scope of your job?

A: The biggest responsibility is to convey the message of my party. It deals with responding to what Congress has done in the last 70 years. We try to debunk the misinformation concerning the party and work towards conveying the truth. We want to convey what Congress stands for and detail our works.

Q: Handling social media is one of the biggest responsibilities. On one side you have the BJP who is very aggressive and then there is Congress who is not that aggressive. Later, Rahul Gandhi was seen to be quite active on social media. Now you are the one who handles the Twitter and Facebook accounts where you possibly see a lot of criticism, how do you face it?

A: The main motive of the trolls is to criticise you by abusing on social media and try to test your temperament and silence you, something which we should understand. It is necessary to ignore such comments and never stoop to their level. It is better not to respond to abusive comments. What we need are stronger cyber laws.

Q: Is the Congress social media account aggressive now?

A: Yes definitely, we have worked a lot. Ramya has brought in a lot of changes. I have not met Ramya post the assembly elections, but she is definitely in the party.

Q: Congress lost power in 2018, There was a coalition government with JD(S) for over a year, but now Congress is in the opposition and the recent Delhi election, the party failed to garner any vote. Were you never tempted to join BJP, has no one invited you? Do you feel Congress is a sinking boat?

A: Congress is like a sea, there is no end to it and it is not something that will sink. When opportunity comes we will be strong. In politics winning or losing is common, we believe in ideologies. Yes, there was an invitation from the regional party as well as the national parties.

Q: During the assembly elections, you have worked a lot in social media and visited every constituency. But, that effort bore no fruit, what is the reason behind the loss of the Congress?

A: We have failed in conveying about our works among the public and people were looking for something new. BJP was involved in an aggressive campaign and spent more money on marketing. The BJP's marketing funds on a national-level are huge.

Q: What is your and the Congress' stance on CAA?

A: Congress has always opposed to the laws which target one particular community. We have been following the constitution and we have preserved it for 70 years. The CAA is not only against the Muslims but also against the uneducated and SC/ST. There is a lot of confusion in it, no clarity about which department is handling the process. The central government has no answer for it while they desperately need to address it.

Q: Due to the CAA protest there was Shaheen Bagh controversy and recently Amulya Leona raised a pro-Pakistan slogan, Will the Congress criticize it?

A: We condemn this, there was no need to raise a pro-Pakistan slogan, what is the connection with Pakistan it is just a neighbouring country. We need to focus internally. What was the need to say ‘Pakistan Zindabad’?

Q: In Karnataka, BJP's ABVP are very strong and are in the news constantly. However, the Congress youth wing NSUI, the student wing and the Youth Congress is rarely on the news.

A: NSUI has been silent since last one year and the Youth Congress is also turning silent. But, there is a need to strengthen the youth wing in the state.

Q: These days fake news spread faster, especially during elections. It is hard to find out what the truth is and what is not. What is your opinion on this, how do you tackle this, how much Congress believes in false news?

A: As much as 98 per cent of people forward news without reading. It is shocking that we do not raise questions. Even the educated are becoming a victim of false news which is hard to understand.

Q: Recently during the Mangaluru police firing incident, two lives were lost. We know that there has been appeal made with the Human Rights Commission. What is the current status of it?

A: Two innocent lives have been claimed because of the Mangaluru police firing. We had appealed to the State Human Rights Commission and the hearing was scheduled to be on December 31. We were asked to come up with the necessary information and the next hearing was scheduled on February 4 in which the family of the victims was also present. The National Human Rights Commission believes that the anti-CAA protest incident that occurred in the country and all the other cases on it will be heard at Delhi. There will be no separate hearing in Bengaluru, however, we have an option to approach the high court or Supreme Court and request that the hearing for Karnataka should take place in Karnataka itself.

Q: In the district or state it is very rare for women to enter politics. What do you think can motivate women to enter this field?

A: Women should enter politics. Whenever the government frames the law there should be female opinion as every law will affect her equally. In our party there is scope, the ideas put forth will be encouraged and the platform to have your voice heard also is presented.

Watch full interview:




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Comment on this article

  • Raajarama Shetty Uppala, BANGALORE

    Mon, May 25 2020

    let's admire this woman.. as a Tulunadu girl we are proud of her.. but she has very poor understanding of The Political back ground & her understanding of Jainism.. & Indian ethos. she is suddenly catapulted .. as a CS graduate her political knowledge and understanding is very weak.. ..

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • H. Almeida., Bendur/Andheri

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Lavanya should realise that the down fall of the grand old Congress party is primarily due to the lackluster Gandhi/Vadra family.... They must cast away, this yoke of hereditary bondage, of a family run political party.. There are dynamic leaders, within the periphery of the oldest political party, They should hand over the reins to a young turk and send the entire parivar into exile !!!!!

    DisAgree [3] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Krishna, Udupi

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Since 2014 to 2019 congress was bouncing... Increased 3 seat in 2019

    After 2019 they started bounce back till 2024 to get samE as 2014 (to 44 seat) but will loose rae bareli...

    After 2024 they will start rolling...

    DisAgree [8] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Krishna, Udupi

    Wed, Feb 26 2020

    rolling back....

    DisAgree [4] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • ad, mangaluruu

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Grand old party will never die I hope. Congress in India and India is Congress. These is no substitute.

    DisAgree [27] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Krishna, Udupi

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Afridi is new spokes person of grand old party...

    DisAgree [4] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sawan, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Good to know you born in Bantwal and studied in SVS college and become a national figure in Indian Politics. I was also studied in same college . Think for society and do the noble work. Best of Luck..

    DisAgree [8] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mathan, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    RaGa may win another term in Wayanad to keep his political career alive, If thats what you call a ''bounce back'', then yes, I have to agree with you.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • shuba, Mumbai

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    All the best Lavanya - you have given your frank replies as a secular party from Congress point of views.
    Hope you will succeed in getting a Leader at the centre who will be able to guide and unite party candidates who are not sure of their own roles. If in-fighting stops for leadership and the party nominated leaders in different region take up the work in true spirit and unite the secularism then only we are sure the people will cling back and bring congress back to power as every citizen in this country wants peace and harmony among all religions. We are all human beings while there are many castes and creeds in this country and hence we need someone to lead all citizens as equal in their fundamental rights.

    DisAgree [20] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • nitin, bidar

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    congress social media failed to convey the message to people/youth at
    large what good/ development congress has done in past 70 years.
    however Bjp social media is succeeded in giving false propaganda to the mass within 2 years.
    congress social media team like Facebook, wassup, twitter has to be strong,
    more writers, creative thinkers have to join congress social media to strengthen congress.
    congress has to energies its social media team to inspire voters.

    DisAgree [23] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan, Mangaluru

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    The problem with congress is it is dependent on Gandhi fly. Though there are good leaders in congress, but their reach is very minimum. On a national level there is no vote getters for congress except for Gandhi's. In regional level yes, there are many. Say for example Shahi Taroor or Chidambaram, they are leaders with exceptional credentials but they are not national leaders in a sense, where they can galvanize party cadre.

    RSS and BJP, knows this and consistently trying to discredit Gandhi's, so that people disengage with them. Look at Vadra case. Where is it now? It will popup yet again in another election and another place. RSS and BJP is masters of manipulation and they are doing extremely well with that.

    With Modi led BJP colossal failures and incompetence, congress has the best opportunities to emerge stronger and better. People are just fed up with BJP, but they are not finding congress as alternative.

    To overcome the hurdles for congress. It has to identify a leader at the national level, who can galvanize voters and workers. In short it needs a person who can speak and heard clearly and people want to hear him again as like a celebrity. Second, its social media cell has to learn how to reach out people. It has to get rid of pro-Muslim paint what BJP has painted it with.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • El En Tea, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Jyothi Raj Scindia is a perfect person to lead the Congress
    Anyway state wise election BJP is losing one by one only 4 states left.

    DisAgree [24] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • richard, shirva

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    how many states remains with a very big political party of India, congress is the question need to ask!
    all these coz of present congress play of communal politics, so majorities united to show the strength!!
    If congress changes , sure they will blank out and hope congressmukth Bharath is not far!!!

    DisAgree [13] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan Rodrigues, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    First change the leadership from Gandhi family
    Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot and many more able people can take leadership then only i think Congress can bounce back

    DisAgree [3] Agree [44] Reply Report Abuse

  • Namith, Kottara

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Poor girl has boarded a sinking ship . Lolz

    DisAgree [47] Agree [57] Reply Report Abuse

  • Don D, Mangalore, India

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Congress is not a sinking ship. It had several setbacks during the last 70 years.
    However, you cannot write off Congress just because of some temporary set backs. Just wait and watch. Congress will surely survive and again capture power at the Central parliament as well as state assemblies. Lavanya is right. I support her views. Jai Hind

    DisAgree [12] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • KRPrabhu, Bangalore

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    We without Gandhi tag Congress can't survive.Bouncing back or front ..effect is same...

    DisAgree [6] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar, Mangaluru

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Lavanyaji read the First 2 comments here carefully ....Now ...
    1.The First one a die hard supporter has given up ! Given up completely ...
    2.The second one is far more practical.....The Congress can ' bounce back '
    but there is a rider to it ! The Gandhis have been ducking into bouncers hurled at them by the electorate and have been retiring hurt ,coming back and scoring ' Ducks ' time and again .How long ?
    Unless all of you realize this there is no ' Bouncing Back ' ..At the best you can partner with the ' Bounce Scooter Rentals '...that's all.
    Priyanka,Ramya ....Then...Hmmmm
    Bhavya,Lavanya .....Now ....Hmmmmm..
    Same fellow at Top....That is the mistake ..

    DisAgree [20] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vishal, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    The people are fed up with the BJP. We were expecting a lot from the BJP and pinning our hopes on Modi. Sadly, he has shown that he is all sizzle and no steak. The BJP has nothing to show by way of achievements and are only trying to keep their seats by dividing the people on communal basis. We don't want a divided India. On the economic front, the Modi government has drawn a blank. Things are going from bad to worse and this is the best chance for the Congress to come back. However, as long as the Gandhi family holds the reigns, I am afraid it will be almost impossible for the Congress to regain power. The earlier it gets rid of Sonia and family the better it will be for the party as well as the country. There are any number of talented people in the Congress and they should come to the forefront and lead the party. If not victory, at least the country can have a formidable opposition and that is indispensable for a democracy lest the ruling party introduces laws that are inimical to the unity of the nation.

    DisAgree [21] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • SANTHOSH, Dakshina Kannada

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    No hope for good candidate in Congress, because of courupt politicians loosing good politician.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald D, Udupi

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    She is bold and capable of expressing strong point of view.. She has a bright future. In order to support dynamic people like her Congress should give leadership to Bhavya Narassimha Murty, Scindia and Sachin Pilot types. Pramod Madhwaraj and Mithun Rai are capable young state leaders too. Congress leadership should go for ground breaking changes so that it can emerge as a strong opposition party to start with and Kamalnath, Sr Kharge, Diggy, MoilySonia, Moily types should take semi retirement at least!

    DisAgree [12] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lan,,,,,,,,,a,, Belman / Washington, DC.

    Tue, Feb 25 2020


    Not going to happen my friend...In CONgress there is nothing called retirement at all...Once you become a CONgress PUDARI....FOREVER you want to be a PUDARI like riding a tiger....if you get down Tiger will eat you ( Your Corruption will be exposed!!!)...

    Sonia-Oscar-Moily-Poojary-Rai-Sorake.....at least you know some of these Pudari's.... go and ask any of them to retire in favour of younger folks and see what is their response my friend....they will say Noooooooooooo.....


    DisAgree [4] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • John R Lobo, Kaikamba

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Definitely Congress will bounce back, PROVIDED, Sonia Gandhi & Fly should loos her grip (
    forever ) on INC and take " Political Sanyasa"

    Secondly, like Professional managed Corporate entity , well qualified youngsters ( Jyotindra Scindia, Sachin Piolt, Shashi Tharoor ) should allowed run the Party.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [75] Reply Report Abuse

  • Hussain, Abu Dhabi

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Rightly said. Congress party are now in deep slumber.

    Its time for Non-Gandhi movement in Congress. Shashi Tharoor should be the President of INC.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis Lewis, Sastan

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Gandhi Family should give up the TOP POST for others immediately.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Only Arvind Kejriwal has the Brains ...

    DisAgree [39] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • DAB, Udupi

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    Thanks Jossey for joining AAP

    DisAgree [2] Agree [35] Reply Report Abuse

  • Susan Bangera, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 25 2020

    But Kejriwals popularity is limited only to Delhi . Even if it tries emerges beyond the state borders, it will be a bad news for Congress.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Exclusive: ‘Congress will bounce back’ – RJ-turned-politician Lavanya Ballal

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