Geetha was still recovering from the great loss of her life. Before she could come to terms with the death of her loved one, she was asked to contest in place of her husband. Banking on the sympathy factor, the party declared her as the candidate for Gundelpet by-election.

 

Everyone thought that things would be tough for her as BJP had lined up star campaigners and were riding high on Modi-Shaw magic which won them Uttar Pradesh. But she surprised everyone by pulling off a stunning victory. Her presence of mind, sensible talk, her husband's works all turned in her favour.

 

Here is Geetha speaking to Mohammed Yacoob of Newsable about the reasons which made her victorious.

 

This was your debut in politics, and you are already the MLA. What does defeating BJP means to you?

It is a great feeling. I dedicate this victory to my late husband, Mahadev Prasad. BJP did everything to knock the Congress out. But here people have a soft corner for the ‘hand’ symbol which held their hands in times of difficulty. As a result, they blessed me.

 

What could be the biggest reason which worked in your favour?

The reason is very simple. 50 percent of my success was due to my late husband’s work for the constituency. Rest is divided between sympathy, collective leadership and more importantly loose talks by BJP leaders.

 

You think loose talk by BJP helped you. How?

The BJP leaders are known for their loose talks, and Pratap Simha leads them all in such things. He made nasty remarks against me. He has looked down upon a widow. But my tears and the pain I underwent because of such bad remarks were taken seriously by the women in the constituency, and they wanted to teach a lesson to the person with a bad mouth. This surely worked for me.

 

What according to you is the signature project of your late husband that helped people?

It is getting drinking water supply project and interlinking of lakes worth Rs 450 crore. The ongoing project will provide water to 133 villages and make the farmers happy. Interlinking the lakes at Huttur, Amani, Vadagere and other surrounding areas will help in storing water and recharging groundwater. The farmers with small land holdings will be benefited. About 176 villages in Gundlupet are connected by concrete and tar roads. This is the reflection of my husband’s commitment towards the people.

 

What is the biggest challenge before you now?

I have one year to execute the projects initiated by my late husband. Time is short, and that is the biggest challenge. But I am sure I will do it. Apart from, this, I would try and create an atmosphere to help the majority rural women get employment.

 

There are rumours that you will get a Cabinet berth…

This decision is taken by the senior party leaders. My priority is to develop my constituency.