Pramod Madhwaraj has been able to make a name for himself in politics within a short period of time. Elected as MLA for the first time in 2013 Assembly elections from Udupi constituency, Pramod surprised the political analysts when he was made the Minister of Fisheries and Youth recently. There were many speculations regarding him being made a minister. Some alleged that his closeness to Oscar Fernandes is the reason, whereas some alleged that caste equations played a significant role in him being made the minister. Whatever was the reason, there were some unhappy faces in Congress party, when he became the minister.
Pramod Madhwaraj is very popular in his constituency. He will be celebrating his 49th birthday today. It is also very special as it is his first birthday as a minister.
Born to former minister Manorama Madhwaraj, Pramod entered politics as a party worker. Congress was struggling then in Udupi with Hindutva agenda helping BJP to win elections. With the help of party workers, he soon rose to popularity in Congress. He tried to enter Vidhan Souda twice, once from Brahmavar constituency and once from Udupi. He lost the elections both the times. Not disheartened with the losses, he stood the election again in 2013 and won by nearly 40000 votes.
One of the main reasons for Pramod Madhwaraj’s popularity is his “Karna” image. He helps the needy people. At his Malpe office, there will be hundreds of people waiting for help. There is a saying that no one goes empty handed from Pramod Madhwaraj’s office. His father Malpe Madhwaraj was also a popular philanthropist of Udupi. Pramod has helped many people. This has helped him to gain votes.
Congress party to which Pramod belongs to, calls itself a ‘Secular party’. However many times, we have seen certain Congress leaders supporting a particular caste or religion. However, Pramod has made a name for himself in all people’s heart irrespective of religion, caste and creed. A popular journalist, who does not want to reveal his name said, “Pramod Madhwaraj is a very good and smart leader. Even after belonging to Congress party, he has been able to garner RSS loyal voters, who prominently vote for BJP. The reason is he never differentiates between communities. He will donate for temple, churches or mosques. In the past we have seen some Congress leader trying to safeguard their vote bank only. However, Pramod is different. This is the reason for him to win with a margin of 40000 votes in 2013 assembly elections.”
Individual personality over Party
There are so many voters, who do not vote for Congress, but vote for Pramod Madhwaraj. Confused? Pramod Madhwaraj is said to have grown above his party in Udupi constituency. Many voters vote in assembly elections for Pramod Madhwaraj even though they do not support Congress party. Dr Rakesh, a resident of Manipal said, “I am a BJP supporter. My family votes for BJP since ages. However for the last assembly elections, I voted for Pramod Madhwarj. He is an honest and non corrupt politician. In my hospital, I have seen him pay bills for so many people. For me, individuality matters. So I will vote for him. He has also done good work as MLA. I am sure he will do better for Udupi as he has become minister now and has more power. However for Lok Sabha elections, my vote is for Modi.”
Pramod Madhwaraj is said to have handled his party workers in good manner. No wonder, there is no other Congress aspirant for the MLA ticket from Udupi constituency other than Pramod Madhwaraj. He has persons reporting from each and every area. They give him all the feedback. Even the lost Congress candidates for municipal or gram panchayat elections have been compulsorily ordered to be active among people. He has also given space for youngsters to grow in the party. He has very loyal supporters. All these qualities show his great leadership.
Women and youth’s support
Pramod Madhwaraj is said to be popular among woman voters. The reason for this is his helping nature. Normally in summer we see shortage of water in Udupi. Pramod supplies water to rural as well as urban areas. This has helped him to gain votes of female voters. And this is being done from years, when he was not even an MLA.
Pramod has also supported youth. Whether it’s his scholarship or his support for various sports and games tournaments, in Udupi, Pramod Madhwaraj has always been with the youth. He knows the pulse of youngsters which has resulted in him gaining votes.
Pramod Madhwaraj has been able to make a good mark. However, he has still not done all, which he had promised. Three years is a short period to judge him. But with Congress party in state involved in various controversies now, it will be difficult for Congress to retain seats in next assembly elections. Pramod has to perform better.
He is a minister now and has more power. He can surely get better facilities for people of his constituency from the state government. He should also be careful with his words. He recently made statements on Cauvery river issue and eating habits of Lord Krishna and Lord Ram. This has not gone well with people of certain sections.
Pramod Madhwaraj needs to perform better. This is the only way he can survive in politics.