Bengaluru: Seven-time MP and Congress stalwart KH Muniyappa is a household name in Kolar and it was he who use to dictate terms in every affair of Kolar all this year. He also survived the 2014 Modi wave thus emerging as a giant in the Congress. In an exclusive interview to MyNation, Muniswamy spoke about advantage, rebel factors in the Congress, unemployment, water issues, agrarian crisis and other issues that went against Muniyappa.

Many congratulations on your win, did you really expect to win against a stalwart?

28 years rule of Muniyappa has made the district worse. Muniyappa had sabotaged the career of many MLAs like H Nagesh, Kothur Manju, former  MLA Sudhakar Reddy of Chinthamani and Kolar MLA Srinivas Gowda of the JDS. These leaders turned against Muniyappa and that helped me. I was sure of decimating him.

Now that you have won, what are the key areas you want to focus on?

About 35 percent of the population travel to Bengaluru every day for work and over 15,000 acres of government land is available in Kolar Gold Field. If the special economic zone is created, we can create employment opportunity here.

You mentioned that over 30 percent of the population travel to Bengaluru, but is  transport a concern at the moment?

Yes! From KGF Taluk alone over 25,000 people travel every day and they will have to leave at 4:30 in the morning. They return by 9:30 to 10 :00 pm, where half of their life is spent in traveling. The irony is that, despite being in power for a long time and also bagging Minister of  State, Railways once, he(KH Muniyappa) could not even increase trains that come to this region. I am planning to pitch a separate train for women, as many of them go to work and for studies in Bengaluru City.

Kolar is often declared as drought-hit area. Does agrarian crisis always top here?

The region is best suited to grow Tomatoes, Mangoes, Silk and also has potential in dairy farming, all we need is, water supply. Srinivaspura MLA and former Minister Ramesh Kumar was instrumental in bringing 1,800 crores worth KC Valley project to help farmers in distress. The projects aim at filling over 100 lakes and improving groundwater. Muniyappa also had a problem with this and got a stay. However this got vacated and water flow resumed. Although a Congressman, Ramesh Kumar will guide me and I will seek his advice in the development of  Kolar. This apart, I also want to ensure completion of small dam at Budikote. Once completed, drinking water to Malur, Bangerpet and also to KGF taluk will be addressed by and large.

Does the region also have tourism potential?

The world famous and only Garuda temple, Shiva temple belonging to Chola dynasty at Tykel Hobli, Kotilingeshwara Temple, Anthara Gange are tourist attractions. The district can capitalise on this factor.

Muniyappa's daughter is MLA of KGF. Will you be working in coordination?

When her father did not do anything to Kolar's development, what can we expect from her. She came to power through lies and deceit.  Before the election she got loan from DCC bank and promised that voters need not pay any interest. Soon after the election, notices were issues, she got many people arrested and about three people committed suicide due to debts and  pressure from the bank.

You were contesting to become BBMP mayor but now your status has been elevated as MP, how do you feel?

It's a big responsibility for me now. Earlier I have served as Panchayat chairman in Takel of Malur. I contested from Kadugudi ward and became the BBMP corporator. But due to number game, I lost the Mayorship of BBMP in 2017, but this win in Kolar will make up for that loss.

KP Muniyappa who was an MP for Kolar for 28 years, was dethroned by BJP’s S Muniswamy. Muniyappa was defeated by a margin of 2,10,021 votes in the Kolar region.