Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (ANK)
Mangaluru, May 7: District in-charge minister Ramanath Rai, who is also the minister for forests, is a seasoned politician who has won 6 of the 7 elections he has contested from Bantwal constituency. Ramanath Rai has played a pivotal role in the overall development of Bantwal, and now, he is all set to contest his eighth election as the Congress candidate from Bantwal.
Minister Ramanath Rai spoke in an exclusive interview to editor-in-chief Walter Nandalike for Daijiworld 24x7 channel.
Q: You are one of the most experienced politicians here. How has been the journey and how does it feel when the opposition criticizes you in the present scenario?
A: I joined the Congress at a very young age. I was the president of block Youth Congress, president of district youth Congress, KPCC secretary and also the president of district Congress. Working in the fields as a farmer from my early days, I was also the president of Grameena Abhivruddhi Bank which helped me to connect to people.
I have witnessed a lot of ups and downs in my entire career, but that connectivity with people has remained the same. No one has accused me of playing ‘caste’ and ‘communal’ politics.
Q: Many people and organisations criticize you.
A: There would be criticism for me in one or the other matter all the time. The Opposition has not done anything and hence cannot ask vote on the basis of development. There was also an instance where BJP and SDPI both demanded my resignation. This proves that I am secular. Several murders took place and no Congressman has involved in any of those. There were five murders in my constituency. Members of Sangh Parivar and SDPI are involved in four murders.
Out of six tickets in the twin districts, we have given three each to Billawa and Bunt community. Social justice is important for us. Congress has always been with the weaker section and high profile people are recognized with BJP. We think about society's growth and development. BJP has never worked for the weaker or poor sections. If weaker and poor sections have got an opportunity or benefited, it is mainly because of Congress.
Q: How did your brother Dr Sathish Rai help you in your political career?
A: My brother supported me and guided me throughout my political career. He had a deep knowledge of politics and we used to have discussions. He always used to tell me not to ever indulge in caste and communal politics and never compromise on ideologies. It is the way former PM Pt Jawaharlal Nehru said, ‘If the minorities becomes communal, then society and community will be harmed, and if the majority becomes communal then whole nation will be harmed’. Never compromise with ideologies.
Q: How has your election campaign been this time?
A: The election campaigning has been undertaken in a different way. I will meet representatives at 249 polling booths and advice them about paying home visits.
Party president Rahul Gandhi’s programme at Bantwal received a very good response. Overall it is good for the party’s prospects in the election.
Q: There is an opinion that PM Narendra Modi visits states prior to elections and that change the voting trend.
A: People have been raising their voice against the central government, against their administration and their failures. Fuel price are skyrocketing. Modi has been in favour of high profile individuals who have supported him for his success. They could not waive farmers’ loans, but waived loan of industrialists’ loans. They do not talk about development but end up spreading fake allegations without proper evidence.
Watch full interview: