HT interview: No special privileges for royal families, law same for everyone, says Mysuru king | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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HT interview: No special privileges for royal families, law same for everyone, says Mysuru king

Apr 25, 2024 07:48 AM IST

Mysuru king Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar is set to make his debut in electoral politics as the BJP has fielded him from the Mysore LS segment.

Mysuru king Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar is set to make his debut in electoral politics as the BJP has fielded him from the Mysore Lok Sabha segment in Karnataka for the polls. He speaks to Arun Dev and Saubhadra Chatterji on his goals and party’s vision for the city in the southern state. Edited excerpts:  

HT interview: No special privileges for royal families, law same for everyone, says Mysuru king
HT interview: No special privileges for royal families, law same for everyone, says Mysuru king

Why become an MP when you are a Maharaja?

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Look, these titles such as Maharaja or prince means nothing in today’s India. There are no special privileges attached to royal families. The law and rights are same for everyone. We live normal lives. I am fighting the elections as I want to work for the country’s development.

But in your campaign, we hear votes being sought for the “Maharaja of Mysore”.

No, it’s not seeking votes for the Maharaja. There is a distinction. There is good work done by the erstwhile rulers of Mysore. The goodwill generated here is not just simply because they  were kings; it’s because good work was done. We were the first to bring in reservations. We had a democratic set-up in 1881 where the people’s representative assembly was strengthened to 250 members by the time of independence. Women had the right to vote within Mysore long before even in the US. There was all-around women empowerment and compulsory education.

Your father Krishnadatta Wadiyar was a four-term Congress MP. What attracted you to the BJP?

I have always leaned that way from childhood. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a huge inspiration and reason to get into politics because he has changed the face of politics.

What is your vision for Mysore? How do you see it in 10 years?

We have an overarching vision of Viksit Bharat 2047 that will obviously influence our local vision as well. That vision sees Mysore as being part of the heritage corridor in Karnataka and perhaps central to that as well. Mysore is the conduit for going down to Kodagu to the hill stations and to all the jungles. So it is certainly the cultural hub and the tourist hub of the state. Along these lines, both Kodagu and Mysore are heavily dependent on agriculture and tourism primarily. So those need the right pushes.

It will require, of course, infrastructure in terms of the airport etc., facilitating better connectivity along those lines. A lot of work has already been done. The other two sectors Mysore is heavily dependent on are IT and industry. Industry has given a reasonably good push. I think more can be done to have an industry suited for Mysore.

What about IT?

IT, I think, can be the biggest push because we need to become a supporting pillar of Bengaluru. So, again, food tech, agri-tech, hospitality, and cybersecurity all fit naturally with the Mysore aesthetic and will ease some of the burdens of Bengaluru.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah is campaigning here quite a bit. It’s a matter of prestige for him.

There is a focus on you when the chief minister himself is campaigning against you. But for lack of a better example, you can be great friends across a tennis court. And when the opponent is in front of you, you have to give your best game.

Mysuru is a test case for the JD(S)-BJP partnership.

As leaders from both JD(S) and BJP have said, it’s a very natural alliance. Now since we both understand each other’s importance, a lot of things will be different in the political environment in Karnataka in the coming years. And my campaign has been a testament to that. 

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