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Meet Capt Gopinath's chief campaigner

By Vicky Nanjappa
April 20, 2009 10:11 IST
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Captain Gopinath has generated a buzz after he announced his candidature as an Independent candidate in the Bangalore South constituency.

For Gopinath, the man who launched low-cost flying in India with his Air Deccan airline, electioneering has understandably been a hugely different experience.

Bhargavi Gopinath, the captain's wife, has been a driving force during the campaign. Even their daughters chip in.

Vicky Nanjappa caught up with Bhargavi on the campaign trail.

From the corporate sector to dusty roads, how has the experience been?

It is a huge change, but interesting. The campaign so far has been great and the response overwhelming. It is a new challenge for me and I am coping well with it.

You don't seem to be campaigning a lot alongside your husband. What is your style of campaigning?

My husband and I campaign separately mostly because this way we can cover more areas. I take care of the door-to-door campaigns. This way I get to interact with voters and understand their problems better. However, I am not alone during my campaign. My two daughters are with me all the time.

Do you find the door-to-door campaign more effective?

I do. It is very important to talk directly to voters. It is the best way to connect to the people. Moreover, we believe it is necessary to talk to them and understand their problems. That is why we have stayed away from the tamasha, which is usually followed by others.

Not everyone may know who Captain Gopinath is. How do you tackle that aspect?

We have faced this problem in some legs during the campaign. There is one side of the constituency where my husband does not need an introduction. In other parts, when we say Gopinath is the candidate, some voters express dismay. However, the moment we mention that he is the man behind Air Deccan, a smile comes on immediately.

Are you happy with your husband's decision to contest the elections?

I have always supported my husband in all his decisions as he knows what he does.

When he expressed his intention to join politics, I completely supported him. I am very happy for him.

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Vicky Nanjappa