INTERVIEW|Priyanka Jarkiholi states, “I didn’t want to contest polls to start my political career.”

Priyanka Jarkiholi, a 26-year-old Congress candidate from Chikkodi parliamentary seat and the daughter of PWD Minister Satish Jarkiholi, would be among the nation’s youngest Members of Parliament if she prevails in the next Lok Sabha election.

She is an MBA graduate who has accepted the task of winning the race against the BJP’s Annasaheb Jolle, a fierce opponent and current MP.

How is the campaign progressing in Chikkodi?

The residents of Chikkodi responded very well to the campaign. The ladies feel at ease enough to come to me and confide in me about their issues. They have high expectations for me and want me to succeed in this mostly male world.

You are up against the well-liked and seasoned incumbent Member of Parliament, Annasaheb Jolle. Are you ready for the impending confrontation?

Not only are many of those involved in the battle around the state twice my age, but they also have considerably more political experience. I find it rather difficult to take on a well-known figure like this. Any difficulty will be met with positivity on my part. I have seen that the people in the state are pleased and comfortable since Congress took over last year. For me, the assurances from the government have also been beneficial. Our leader Rahul Gandhiji and Kharge sir unveiled an amazing and pro-people party agenda.

Why did you decide to run in a parliamentary election as opposed to one for the Assembly?

I had no desire to run in the Lok Sabha or Assembly elections in order to enter politics. I seized the chance when it presented itself. For a young lady like myself, this election is very significant. Since my family has been involved in politics for the past thirty years, I am sure that, should I be elected, I would perform well as an MP.

If you are elected, what would be your first question in parliament?

I would request that the government provide young people without jobs decent employment possibilities. Numerous young people have finished their graduation and postgraduate programs but have not been able to get the professions of their choice. The government has to take up more programs to help young people find work. Additionally, efforts must to be made to encourage young entrepreneurship by supporting them in launching their own companies and industries. In order to generate employment, we also need to encourage them to establish startups.

Which subject will you be focusing on most in this election?

Farmers in the rich agricultural Chikkodi constituency want more irrigation infrastructure. Additionally, I wish to support women in obtaining government assistance to launch their own small companies. After I become an MP, I want to work for women’s empowerment. I’ll concentrate on tourism as well.

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