Bangalore: Wives campaign for Nandan Nilekani, Ananth Kumar
Bangalore: It is an interesting battle in Bangalore South this election where Congress’s Nandan Nilekani is facing BJP’s Ananth Kumar. CNN-IBN joined Nandan Nilekani’s wife Rohini and Ananth Kumar’s wife Tejaswini on the campaign trail.
On an early Sunday morning, Rohini Nilekani stepped out on yet another padyatra. Ever an optimist, Rohini is still trying to get used to being a politician’s wife, but the decision to support her husband came quite easy. But politics has brought with it its own sense of discomfort.
“It was a very difficult decision because obviously it is a game changer for the city and the country, but it is very hard at a personal level. But the right thing to do is to support him. And then I didn’t look back,” Rohini said.
One will see Rohini taking morning walks in parks in the Bangalore South constituency as well as doing padyatras through the afternoons in a bid to reach out and generally doing things that she has probably never done before. All this is needed when you’re up against the wife of a five-term MP, who has herself been campaigning for her husband since 1998.
Tejaswini Ananth Kumar runs a charitable trust that supplies mid-day meals to thousands of schools. An engineer by training, she was once part of the prestigious light combat aircraft or LCA project, but family priorities took over.
“Although I miss my day-to-day programming and IT related work, since I am chairman of Adhaimaichetana, I am able to do more satisfactory work. Even Ananth Kumar says that I do satisfactory work. He says ‘you serve food to children and they are happy’,” Tejaswini said.
It’s a crucial election for both Ananth Kumar and Nandan Nilekani. One is trying to get over anti-incumbency built over five terms and prove his continued influence while the other is trying to make a fired up debut, to get a leg in and be able to play a larger role in the country’s policies, besides killing the myth that corporates and intellectuals can’t win an election. The odds are stacked up both sides and their better halves are throwing in their might in this bitter battle.