Bangalore: Founder of the low-cost airline that triggered a civil aviation boom in India, G.R. Gopinath, will stand for election to Parliament from Bangalore, hoping to win the support of young, urban voters.
Gopinath, who wants to fight the election as an independent candidate from one of the four constituencies in the Karnataka capital, ruled out aligning with any political party and said he would reach out to voters using technology.
“The chances of losing is high,” he said. “But I would rather be loved and (to have) lost than not being loved at all.” He said he would appeal to voters to elect him for his stand on terrorism, pluralism and development.
This will be the second attempt in electoral politics for the Army captain-turned-entrepreuner, who revolutionized air travel in India through Air Deccan, the budget carrier that flew passengers between cities for as low as Rs500.
In 1994, he lost as a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from Gandasi, an assembly constituency in Hassan, which has since been merged with other constituencies in a delimitation exercise. In 2007, constituencies were redrawn based on the latest population data, giving urban centres more representation because more people lived in them.
Bangalore has three urban constituencies and one rural constituency after the exercise. Kanakapura, once a separate constituency, has been merged with Bangalore rural. Gopinath said that he would announce from which constituency in Bangalore he would be contesting in the next few days.
Gopinath made up his mind to contest the election two days ago after consulting Biocon Ltd managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Ramesh Ramanathan, founder of the non-governmental organization Janaagraha, and Pradeep Kar, chairman of Microland Ltd.
But the inspiration came from his daughter Pallavi, who marched on the streets of Bangalore to protest the attack on women by Sri Rama Sene activists in Mangalore, he said.
Gopinath, who sold his stake in Air Deccan, the carrier he founded, to Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, is launching Deccan Express Logistics, a cargo and logistics venture, on 4 May.