G. Subramanyam Sharma, 44, the grandson of former President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975), is contesting from Malleswaram constituency in the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections as a candidate of a fringe party to erase "inequality" in the state.
"As inequality between rich and the poor is widening in society, someone has to balance it through the system, into which I want to enter and usher in equality," Sharma, a candidate of the newly-formed All India Mahila Empowerment Party (AIMEP), told IANS in an interview.
The Chennai-born Sharma, who moved to Bengaluru over a decade ago (2006), turned a serial entrepreneur to provide jobs for others .His family-owned Sudeeksha Group is into diverse businesses spanning pharmacy, infrastructure, movies and dairy farming.
"I originally come from a family of academicians, and not politicians," said Sharma, whose father is renowned philosopher-statesman Radhakrishnan's nephew (sister's son).
Radhakrishnan was the second President of India from 1962 to 1967. Sharma is also related to V.V. Giri (1894-1980), who was the fourth President from 1969 to 1974, from his father's side (paternal grandfather's brother).
Sharma, after years of working as an entrepreneur, wanted to step up as a change-maker and find solutions to improve the healthcare, education and job-providing capabilities of Indian society.
With initial plans to contest as an Independent in the ensuing polls, he prepared an election manifesto with the changes he and the people in the constituency wished to bring about in the locality.
"I had no intention of joining any of the three national parties -- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress or the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) -- as they've never really worked towards people's issues and have only blamed each other for political gains," Sharma asserted.
In his poll manifesto, Sharma has outlined plans to provide free electricity to the whole constituency by setting up solar panels on all the rooftops of homes, upgrade the public health centres, government hospitals and public schools in the Malleswaram area, one of the oldest localities of this tech hub, through better infrastructure. He also wants to work towards youth in each household of Malleswaram being employed.
But after a meeting with AIMEP's founder and national president Nowhera Shaik, a Hyderabad-based businesswoman who set up the party in November 2017 to contest in the May 12 election, Sharma was convinced that his ideology was in line with the party's.
"I was certain after meeting Shaik that the party is for all common people -- from auto rickshaw drivers to working citizens, and believes in the same social balance I aim to achieve. I joined the party and was allowed to retain the manifesto I planned for my constituency," the 44-year-old recalled.
The AIMEP, which had announced it would field candidates from all the 224 constituencies in the state, has fielded over 170 candidates.
If elected, Sharma also plans to hold job fairs in the constituency to provide jobs for the youth from each of the households -- in public and private sectors.
"I hope that in this election people will give a chance and opt for other parties than the national parties, and for candidates who truly want to bring a change in the state," added Sharma.
(Bhavana Akella can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)