The Samajwadi Party's lone Lok Sabha candidate in Bihar Ghanshyam Tiwari said he has a set of "achievable goals" in mind for the development of Karakat constituency, unlike many BJP nominees who are "only banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi" to sail through the elections.
An alumnus of IIM-Bangalore, Kellogg School of Management and Harvard Kennedy School in the US where he studied of public administration, the 39-year-old SP spokesperson, who is fighting elections for the first time, said his aim is to "inject fresh and youthful energy into politics" in his home state.
"But I am returning to my roots because I believe change is possible through electoral interventions. Even while pursuing higher education abroad, there was always a thought at the back of my mind to do something from Bihar. So I see my entry into electoral politics a natural progression for the change I seek in Bihar," Tiwari told PTI in an interview.
"Politics is about setting an agenda for society and working towards that vision with faith and a set of achievable objectives. That is what I intend to do," he said.
"In my manifesto, I have declared that if the people of Karakat vote me to parliament, I will work on two promises that I have made ensuring intermediate-level education for all girls and jobs for one lakh youth."
Asked if his education in Harvard and Kellogg will come in handy in fighting the polls, a confident Tiwari replied, "I learned leadership qualities in colleges, universities and in the corporate world. This election is the ultimate test of leadership."
"The BJP is fighting this entire election in the name of Modi. Their campaign and the language used in speeches makes it very obvious. People are being treated as fools and nothing is being told about the candidates and no report card is being sought of MPs seeking re-election. The party has turned its candidates into mere placeholders," he alleged.
Asked, if he is unnerved by the fact that he is a newcomer and is facing stiff opponents such Kushwaha and Singh who have already carved out their places in politics, Tiwari rebuffed, "Of course not. I am here to challenge the status quo, to reboot Bihar, especially Karakat constituency, which because of its strategic location is perfect to be turned into an industrial and tourism hub."
Karakat town in Rohtas is located about 130 km from state capital Patna.
This constituency is blessed with scenic beauty and has a tremendous potential of becoming a tourist destination, but the potential remains "untapped", he said.
"Industries established in Rohtas during British-era are either shut or defunct. If I win, I will revive these industries and that is the idea in generating one lakh jobs for youths. Also tourism will bring more jobs. So, I have a plan unlike other parties who are trying to woo people on a different narrative altogether," Tiwari said.
The SP nominee said he and his teammates have been collecting bio-data of youth from Karakat and the target is to collect "one lakh curriculum vitae".
Recently, Tiwari had written an open letter to Modi seeking time to submit these bio-data, before or after the elections, while expressing "disappointment" that the prime minister did not mention the issue of jobs for Bihar youth in his election speech in Sasaram constituency, which neighbours Karakat.
Asked, how the local people have reacted to his nomination, he said, the response has been "enthusiastic".
"Notwithstanding caste equation in Bihar politics, I have felt there is a sense of pride among the people that the 'son of the soil' has come back to serve them and I pledge to give back to the society I emerged from. It is quite a humbling experience," Tiwari said.
He also said that his campaigns were largely crowd-funded, with ample help from the alumni associations of the various schools he attended.
Karakat will go to polls on May 19, in the last phase of the general elections, along with seven other constituencies in Bihar, including Patna Sahib and Pataliputra seats in the Bihar capital.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)