Interview: BJP candidate and ‘Mysuru Maharaja’ Yaduveer Wadiyar wants to script his own destiny

In an exclusive conversation, Yaduveer discussed his jump into electoral politics, plans, and what it was like fighting on the chief minister's home turf.

ByNolan Patrick Pinto

Published Apr 17, 2024 | 9:00 AMUpdatedApr 17, 2024 | 10:39 PM

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the scion of the erstwhile Mysuru royal family, will be fighting the Lok Sabha elections from the Mysuru-Kodagu Parliamentary Constituency in Karnataka as a BJP candidate.

In an exclusive conversation with South First, Yaduveer Wadiyar discussed why he jumped into electoral politics, his plans, and what it is like fighting on the chief minister’s home turf.

Edited excerpts:

Q. Why should the people of the Mysuru-Kodagu LS constituency vote for Yaduveer Wadiyar?

A. In the last 10 years, the work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP has been tremendous. It has benefited a large number of people across the country, including in the Mysuru-Kodagu area as well. There have been a lot of development works that benefited the people here, and a lot more are already in the process of being implemented.

Alongside that, the various schemes that have come in have also benefited people locally. People will vote on that basis, besides the fact that we require an organic development of both districts in the sense that we pride our heritage and our nature in both areas developing organically.

Q. The Mysuru and Kodagu districts have their own individual problems and aspirations. Do you have a plan to tackle them individually?

A. Both have their own aspirations that are uniquely aligned. The fact that they both have a very ancient history, the fact that they both have a very ancient heritage and are both heavily reliant on tourism as well, allows us for a more streamlined approach than what would be seen on the surface. Certainly, in that sense, we will work towards that.

If you have to go in-depth, obviously there are key issues in Kodagu and key issues in Mysuru — the Hunsur and Periyapatna areas as well — that require urgent attention.

Those will be tackled with the help of the local leaders and the local people, who are very much aware of the issues.

We will take all of their concerns on record and then see how we can better implement schemes and deliver on a more long-term vision.

Q. PM Modi addressed a huge gathering on Sunday, 14 April in Mysuru. Since this is your first election, did he give you any word of advice or suggestions?

A. In the last 10 years, BJP has made abundant promises and has seen them go through. The prime minister is now looking at India becoming more economically developed. His message itself is an inspiration to us all.

If he is willing to work so hard, we should follow suit and see that our commitment locally is as vigorous as his own, and that we work as a bridge for his vision for the country.

Also Read: PM Modi showers Deve Gowda with praise in Vokkaliga belt of Mysuru

Q. What made you decide to take this plunge into electoral politics?

A. We need to do social service at a bigger level. In today’s system, it is best done through politics by being the people’s representative.

Politics obviously becomes a little bit more during election time, but we have to conduct our affairs by taking everybody along after that.

Q. A large number of citizens in Mysuru wanted you to remain apolitical. There was also an appeal on social media requesting you to avoid taking this route.

A. Yes, there is a palace heritage and identity which people see, and want it to be held in a certain way. But I think an individual also has the right to script his own destiny. In that sense, I would like to move forward, doing a great amount of social work.

The relation that the palace has with the people of this constituency and Karnataka should also be used for the betterment of our state and society as a whole.

In that regard, I think this will be a very good endeavour and initiative towards uplifting our state and perhaps even our country as long we stay true to that principle.

Related: ‘King vs ordinary citizen’ battle erupts in Mysuru

Q. Congress has termed this fight as a King vs the Common Man. Your thoughts on this?

A. Everybody has their narratives in front of the Constitution and in front of the law. As everyone knows, we are all common citizens. We have never used these titles at any point. We enjoy the fact that we are common citizens of India. The “citizen of India” is a title in itself — a very valuable one for all of us.

We want to strengthen the Constitution of democracy, and in that effort, this is as much a common citizen vs another common citizen as it can be.

The same facilities are available to him to conduct the election, as are to me as well. It is an equal playing field, and the people of this constituency will judge us on our aptitude and ability for the job.

Q. Does it overwhelm you that your first electoral fight is on the home turf of the sitting chief minister?

A. We welcome the fight and we look forward to having a fair and good contest on 26 April. It is certainly not overwhelming.

It is good to have competition — to put forward our different opinions and efforts towards getting the voters to back us. We certainly welcome this.

Related: It’s battle royale between Siddaramaiah, scion of erstwhile royal family

Q. Citizens in this Lok Sabha constituency do not want the Bengaluru model of development. They are wary of the destruction taking place over there. Do you have a plan?

A. My key is organic development, which essentially looks to ensure that we move forward sustainably. Development for development’s sake is not considered.

We need development where it’s absolutely required. And it should be done — as I said — in a sustainable manner so that we take into account all of the environmental causes and all of the natural elements that may be there, which may cause harm to our development that has to be offset in another area or around the area where the development is happening.

So, we have to take forward this organic sense development, and it is certainly part of the greater vision.

The prime minister stressed the need for heritage and the requirement that this entire belt become sort of a cultural hub and a cultural corridor. So, in regards to that, this organic development certainly fits very well.

Q. What is your equation with MP Pratap Simha considering that his supporters, who form a major chunk of the voting population, were against your candidacy?

A. We are all voting for a singular purpose: Modi has to become the prime minister again. We are all looking forward to that moment. And that is the singular aim of everyone. We are all united in that effort.

The sitting MP personally called me, wished me well, and said all his efforts would be towards ensuring that our party is victorious here, and that I am victorious here as well.

Related: MP Pratap Simha’s tirade against Mysuru royal scion catches BJP’s attention

(Edited by Arkadev Ghoshal)