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Exclusive: I am a lioness, don't budge to threats - Mangaluru mayor Kavita Sanil

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (ANK)

Mangaluru, Jul 18: The city has had many lady mayors in the past handling the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC). Mayor Kavita Sanil is one of the few mayors in the city who is known to have maximum impact in the shortest time due to her fearless way of running the administration. With lots of goals set in her tenure, Kavita has already made a name for being strict about illegalities. She has been in the news for taking stringent action against illegal game centres and massage parlours.

Kavita, a national-level karate champion, with 58 gold medals and 18 silver medals to her name, spoke in an exclusive interview to editor-in-chief Walter Nandalike on Daijiworld 24x7 channel’s 'Public Challenge programme.


Q: The word 'Singham' is usually used for the police department. Being a mayor, you are being called a 'Lady Singham'. You carried out several raids which even police did not do. Your views on it?

A: The public should put forth their views on my work. These raids were carried out as we had received a lot of complaints. People have given me an opportunity to be the mayor. It is my duty to keep an eye on the work that is happening within the MCC limits.

Q: You have locked down massage parlours and skill games during your raid. But the owner of a skill game centre managed to reopen it the very next day. What was reason behind this?

A: Yes, we have locked down massage parlours and skill games. During the raid, the owner was against us. We have received several complaints from people and parents and thus we raided these places. I have noticed several students and youths at these game centres. Many of them were below the age of 30 years. The owner of the game centre was adamant, but we did our duty. If they have reopened it again, the police department should look into it. The MCC has complained about it and we are eagerly waiting for the police to take action.

Q: Here in Mangaluru, either police raids such illegal businesses or activists from certain associations do it. Is the MCC permitted to conduct raids directly?

A: Yes, of course. When an individual runs a business without a trade license, the MCC has the authority to raid and shut it down.

In the recent cases, neither the massage parlour nor the skill games had trade licences. Not only skill games centres or massage parlours, but any business running without license will be locked down by MCC. We have the authority.

Q: Many people said that MCC could have complained to police and through them these illegal activities could have been stopped.

A: We could have informed police if it was any kind of illegal activity. In this case, we conducted raids as they were running the business without trade license from MCC. We are not here to do other departments' work. People can run business if they have trade license, but we will decide whether the trade license has to be issued or not. After MCC issues trade license, the police have to make sure that people are not doing anything illegal. Today in the name of beauty parlours, ayurvedic centres, many of them acquire trade license from MCC. Police should stop illegal activities happening at such places. During the raids of these massage parlour and skill games centre, we came across many illegal activities too.

Q: During one of your raids, the owner of the skill games centre was arrogant and also claimed that they had bribed the police department. How did you face this situation?

A: If the owner is arrogant, I am not a person who is afraid of anyone. I have even received threat calls. I am not one among the group of deer, I am a lioness. There is some law which has to be followed where they have to pay tax and acquire trade license. We locked down the skill games centre and it is reopened again. We can imagine where our law is heading to.

Q: We appreciate your courage as you did not take the help of police. But you took media along with you during the raid. Why?

A: Media are the one who highlight such issues. People will get the news. Through media, people came to know about skill games and massage parlours. Media are the one who are helping us. Parents also are equally responsible for their children. They have to keep a check on where their children go. We even saw some students bunk classes and go for these games centres. So we have to create general awareness about it. I do not think I have done anything wrong.

Q: Some of your party members alleged that the raid was done for publicity.

A: If I had such thoughts in my mind, I had other opportunities to gain publicity. Its four months since I took over as the mayor and I am satisfied with my work. There was lots of drinking water problem. I am happy and satisfied that we never allowed people to face shortage of water. Many artistes showed disappointment over the hike of Town Hall rent which was sorted out. E-toilet have been constructed. I receive several complaints from people which I try and readdress at the earliest. Believe it or not, I work till 9pm and check the complaints. I also see that the complaints are sent to the concerned departments.

I do not want any publicity. Ninety per cent of the people are supporting me, while 10 per cent are alleging that I am doing it for publicity. We need to think about children’s future and parents who send their children to college to have a good future ahead. If these students take a wrong path, then we have to regret. There are people who even say why these illegal activities are permitted in the city. I conducted the raid as I had received a call from a parent who was in tears saying that her son frequently asks money and spends it at the skill games centre. People who are opposing the raids will realise only if their children are into trouble due to these game centres.

Q: After skill games centre and massage parlours, which is your next target?

A: It is not about skill games or massage parlour. Whichever comes under MCC limits, we will take care of it. We are trying to restrain such things and even public has an important role to play. Women’s associations frequently complain because of the faith that have in me and as a mayor it is my duty to respond and readdress the issue.

Q: The issue of St Aloysius College Road led to a controversy. Why did the MCC show less concern towards it?

A: The association of the bank had appealed MCC to rename the road as Mulki Sundarama Shetty Road. The then MCC members and corporator Vinayraj had opposed it. Frankly speaking, this issue was never brought to the notice of the MCC. Being a mayor I do not want to differentiate between communities. People will raise their voice when a road which has vast history is being renamed.

No one opposed the issue in the council meeting. We had even notified the issue in newspapers for 60 days, but no one objected to it including St Aloysius College. Hence, the government had sanctioned it. As a mayor, we called the representatives of both the communities for a meeting in my chamber, but by that time the government itself issued a stay order. As of now, the issue is stagnant.

Q: After the hike in the Town Hall rent, there was a drastic fall in Tulu or Konkani dramas. You have taken a firm decision in deducting the rent up to 50 per cent. There were allegations from your own party members that the mayor took a one-sided decision without any discussion. What is your say on it?

A: Even during my tenure in the health committee, artistes had expressed disappointment over the high rent of the Town Hall. After I got the opportunity to be the mayor, I conducted a meeting and took the decision of reducing the rent. I deny the allegations that I had taken a one-sided decision without consulting anyone.

Myself along with standing committee chairman, deputy mayor and commissioner were present during the meeting. The finance committee chairman came in late to the meeting and left early which was not my fault. During the meeting, artistes shared their problems and thus i approved the rent deduction. In case, I would go to the committee and then get it approved, it would take a lot of time. Artistes have benefitted from this. I do not think that I have committed any mistake. God will bless me.

Q: Do you think everything is normal at present between all the corporators and the mayor? We can see some of them conducting separate meetings and also see blaming you through press conferences?

A: This is a normal thing prior to the mayor’s election as everyone wishes to become a mayor or committee chairman. If it continues even after the election, its is wrong. There is no such rift within our party. If someone says something behind my back, I cannot do anything about it as I really do not care about such things.

Q: People are very disappointed over the putting up of flex banners in the city. When a leader visits Mangaluru, we see flex banners put up all over the place. What action has MCC taken against this and what will you do to restrain flex banners in the city?

A: I have issued orders not to put flex banners twice. I had requested people to remove flex banners wishing me when I became the mayor. After ten days as a mayor, I again strictly ordered not to put flex banners. In case someone had to put up one, they should gain permission from MCC, which will be permitted only for three days.

Politicians and organisations need to understand why we have passed such orders in the city. The government has already banned plastic and law has been enforced which we should followed. Mangaluru's beauty has spoiled because of these flex banners. We have informed this several times, but it still keeps repeating. MCC officials has several works other than removing flex. We are also short of staff.

Q: MCC has launched e-toilets in Mangaluru. Any further plans of extending the facility?

A: Five e-toilets have been installed in Mangaluru, two each in Lalbagh and Kadri Park. When I was the chairman of the health committee, I had visited New Delhi where I noticed such e-toilets. This triggered me to install e-toilets in Mangaluru. I spoke to the environment engineer and told him about the plan of constructing e-toilets in Mangaluru. HPCL came forward to grant funds for e-toilet through their CSR funds. We are thinking of installing more e-toilets in Mangaluru as we need such toilets for the smart city. This will be very useful especially for women.

Q: During the last four months, you are in the headlines in one way or the other. You are courageous enough. Did you ever think of getting into the police department anytime during your childhood days?

A: My life has become more challenging after I was elected as the mayor. I am leading my life in a challenging way and should see how it goes on.

Q: We have heard that you are a Karate champion. When do you get time to practice? What inspired you to learn Karate?

A: We need to have vision to take up anything. I wake up at 4:30 am. I practice Karate from 5 am to 7 am. I want to attend the national level Karate tournament in October or December. So far, I have bagged 58 gold medals and 18 silver medals national and internationally. In 2008, I took part in the national level tournament and bagged the first place which was also my last tournament. I was selected for an international tournament at Turkey, but unfortunately could not attend it. So after nine long years, I will be taking part in a Karate tournament and I am practicing for it.

Q: How you got into politics? Anyone from your family in politics?

A: My parents supported the Congress party and they had moved along with former chief minister Bangarappa during their time. My whole family has always supported Congress. After my marriage, my mother-in-law was a panchayat member for three terms.

Q: The state election is inching closer and your activities as a mayor are also increasing. Are you interested to become an MLA?

A: If God has planned something for you, then no one can stop you from becoming an MLA or minister. I will not say that I am not interested. I can be a candidate. But I do not do activities to bag a MLA seat. I am doing my duties as a mayor. I have certain responsibilities to fulfill.

Q: Did you ever think that you would become the mayor of Mangaluru?

A: No, I never thought that I would be the mayor of Mangaluru. I was interested in sports when I was called to Circuit House by Janardhana Poojary. He insisted me to contest election from Marakada constituency and I refused it. Later, I was called several times and seat was given to me and I became a corporator, for which I will always remain grateful to the Congress party.

Q: Earlier, the Congress party was very strong in the district. But today, there are rifts which has led to several groups within the party. Which group are you a part of?

A: I do not belong to any group. I belong to Congress party. People say in different way but we are all one. There is no group at all. We all belong to one group.

Q: How is your bonding with senior Congressman and mentor B Janardhana Poojary?

A: Yes, it is good. My bonding is good with every leader including Poojary.

Q: What are Congress' chances in the forthcoming election?

A: Everyone knows about the work of chief minister Siddaramaiah. He has fulfilled 93 promises out of 100 mentioned in the election manifesto. So Siddaramaiah-led government has done a tremendous work. People will definitely bless Congress party in the coming days.

Q: You still have eight months left in your tenure. We feel that one year is a very less time for a mayor. What are your future goals?

A: In Mangaluru, we have a lot of work to be done, such as roads, signboards, footpaths, drains and computerisation of MCC. Some programmes have to be carried forward which were started by the previous mayor. One year is a very less time for a mayor to complete many works. If we get more time, then we will be able to do more work. I am planning accordingly about pending works which has to be completed in the remaining time of my tenure.

After becoming the mayor, I have sacrificed all my family functions as I could not give time for my family. I am working hard to live up to the expectations of people.


Watch Full Interview

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Comment on this article

  • Arun Sanil, Canada

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    Proud of you. Keep going

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohandas Kumar, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 19 2017

    Proud of Billawa community courageous daughter Kavita Sanil Mayor of Mangalore, like the current Shiva Sena party Mayor of Thane (Mumbai) Meenakshi Shinde Poojary daughter of Late Guruvappa Poojary also from Chelyar Suratkal.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Indian, DK

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    Wouldn't you respect if she belong to other community. Grow up...

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse


    Wed, Jul 19 2017


    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vishal, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 19 2017

    It is refreshing to see a spirited and active lady as the Mayor. I am bothered which party she comes from, I am only interested to see good things happening around the city and to the people. We want people like Kavita and not people like our so called Minister in charge who doesn't even know what is happening around him.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan Patrao, Traffic Warden, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 19 2017

    Ms. Mayor, though we appreciate your initiatives. There are thousands of problems in the city, which every elected representative has ignored. Roads are in pathetic condition, there are no bus stops, no foot paths, no water 24 hours a day, the poor and illiterate do not get the benefit of the government schemes they deserve (ask your corporators and health inspectors to take care of these issues), buildings flout building norms (you surely know the mechanism of this), ... The list is endless. Solve those problems. Good Luck.

    DisAgree Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Homework, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 19 2017

    Can you take up the cause of the Pedestrians. You can find vehicles being parked on the Footpaths with scant regard to the children, elderly and other pedestrians. They are made to walk on the road because the footpaths are covered with vehicles. Can you please take up this cause and impose strict penalties or tow the vehicles away which are parked on the Footpaths. Please impress on the authorities to give permission to tow vehicles that are parked on the Pedestrian Footpaths.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Suman, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 19 2017

    Not a namesake Mayor like earlier Mayors..hatsoff Madam

    DisAgree [6] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jamal, Mangalore/Abudhabi

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Compared to all Mayors we had in Mangalore, this Lady is very active, she's pretty and attractive in all occasions she appears. Good luck madam. But unfortunately you have only one year to be in the throne.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Acchu, Mlore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Kavita mayor and Annamalai SP should be appointed permanently for Mangalore.
    Perfect combination same like vada sambaar, never received any bad comments from good people.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Nice interview ....Good questions...nice answers...nice Mayer...thank you Daiji...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Haneef, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Oh!lady lion if you are fearless please demolish illegal buildings on ksr road ,bunts hostel road and mg road !

    DisAgree [4] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh S, MANGALORE

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    ..next Assemble election Congress has to give ticket to lady singham instead of LOBO..

    DisAgree [12] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • geoffrey, hat hill

    Wed, Jul 19 2017

    Not necessarily, a ticket to Parliament in 2019 can't be ruled out. The way she carries herself, she certainly seems to be capable of scaling Himalayan heights.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aadil Khan, Kasaragod/Saudi Arabia

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Mayor Kavitha Sanil is more than a lioness.

    Ever since she has taken the seat of city mayor, she has accomplished mumerous developmental jobs for the city and its people.

    One of the major and a very important issues she tackled was the water supply during this summer. Unlike in the previous years, no one faced water shortage this summer just because of her close monitoring of water levels in the dam and plugging the water pilferage by mafia.

    She may not be good for some water tanker suppliers as they could not mint money in the name of drought.

    Gentlemen, before criticizing her, ask yourself if you ever felt water shortage this summer. If no, then salute her, because water is precious.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse

  • bhuvan, kavoor

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    undu choor jaasti aand.. whether lioness will tell i am a lioness??

    DisAgree [34] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Madem Mayor, you are mayor for one year only. Remember this. You are thinking you have become Mayor for lifelong.

    DisAgree [44] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • J.F.D SOUZA, Attavar, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Mayors have come and Mayors have gone! But we appreciate your courage and action in many instances. Your are more than a lioness and you fully deserve applauds. Because of your super and timely action. we are urging our Dist. in charge Minister Ramanath Rai, MLA J.R.Lobo, MLC Ivan D Souza to extend your mayoral tenure for one more year. All the best.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    No doubt lions and lionesses are fearless and ruthless in their pursuit but they have to be careful when other stronger lions or wolves or hyenas corner and attack.

    DisAgree Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    She is a lioness and keeps her words. A hard working lady. Proud to have such a courageous Mayor

    DisAgree [8] Agree [35] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rehna, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Lady Singam you please pay a visit to your ward from where u were elected corporator and see the plight of the roads full of potholes and during rain water flowing on the roads. Before patting your back go to your ward and hear the grievances of the public.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • N.M, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Prospective MP candidate for INC from Mangalore. Good luck!

    DisAgree [10] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse


    Wed, Jul 19 2017

    She may replace Abayanna in Bidri for next assembly election.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Henry, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    I am glad to hear that you do good work for the well-being of people of Mangalore. God bless you Madam. We need leaders like you.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • santhu, Mumbai/Udupi

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Quote : Kavita, a national-level karate champion, with 58 gold medals and 18 silver medals to her name,

    Great to know that and proud that we have such lady mayor.

    Madam could you please looking to deadly path holes becoming small rivers in middle of the roads all the over Manglore city..Specially at nanthoor circle left side while going to bikarnakkte..that pothole looks like small lake created in middle of the road...its really very risky for two wheelers as while taking left for bikarnakatte there is no space left in road due to this BIG pothole.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anonymous, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    I feel so proud that we have such a Ferocious and courageous Madam Mayor!!! However she is being labelled, at the end of the day, she is getting some of the things done!! Making Mangalore a plastic free zone, given that we have to carry home fish from the market, is a mammoth task unless an alternative is found. Probably rubber bags.. But good luck to our Mayor in the coming months.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Chaddis will run ...

    DisAgree [34] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    At least have some moments in a day when you do not think about chaddi!!

    DisAgree [10] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh S, MANGALORE

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    ..yes..Bantwal side TIGER and another side LIONESS..

    DisAgree [2] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Swamy, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Then how safe are cows if Tigers are around????. Cow Rakshaks are turning out to be Cow Bhakshaks????. Good for your economy.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Why did you take photographers inside massage parlours?
    Why did you allow them to click pictures of masseur girls? and clients? You should have asked for the license copy and if not presented, then you could seek assistance from police to close it down.
    Barging in with photographers happens in banana republic.
    I have the least doubt on you intentions, I appreciate.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nawaz, Udupi/ Kuwait

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Leaving apart her intentions, you are absolutely right. We cannot be judgemental about what's hidden in their hearts. Certainly she will feel sad in case her intention was good.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mangalurian, Mangaluru

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Really appreciate the work the Mayor is doing.

    Mangalore is very lucky to have such a committed person to lead the city.

    I wish her good health and safety.

    Thank you Walter for the great interview.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ricky, Udupi

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Good Until that doesn't get raise/ rise to your head. Initially all these josh will be there, But people here appreciate if you do your duty rightly.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Swamy, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Whatever you are doing it will be just for the time being. Can it sustain and grow???. For change to take in the society and country as a whole right now in India it needs a Herculean sustained effort with lot of sacrifice and dedication from a honest and influential political party. In reality it's very difficult but not impossible if majority of people have the resolve.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • George, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Proud of you Madam.
    Continue with your brave work.
    We are all with you.

    DisAgree [12] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sachidanand Shetty, Mundkur/Dubai

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Oho Oho....Madam.....don't you think it is too much??? Beware of some Sharks and Wolf too in our region!!! Unfortunately when Pub or Home Stay attack happened….people supported the Pub & Home Stay Owners….but now they are supporting Mayor when she tried to stop the illegal business…. Only difference is…they did it in wrong or informal way….and she did it in formal way

    DisAgree [13] Agree [50] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    100% Right

    DisAgree [5] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Swamy, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    If you say she did it in right way and they did it in wrong way then what are you whining about???. Just accept your fault and shut up.

    DisAgree [15] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Tue, Jul 18 2017

    Madam agreed.
    In India we have already felt about a Lion and time to experience a lioness.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [45] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Exclusive: I am a lioness, don't budge to threats - Mangaluru mayor Kavita Sanil


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