There was a wave when a series of columns on a particular Kannada daily took the entire state, as well as the country by storm. An outspoken radical had displayed a sense of courage that hardly any journalist in the history of Indian journalism had done. We all knew this man was made of steel when he flinched not an inch in taking names of prominent personalities and presented facts that no one had ever dared to speak of. Over a period of time, Pratap Simha became Karnataka’s most respected, threatened and feared journalist of Karnataka had ever seen.
And then the young man stepped into politics. We do not know if it is mandatory for all those who step into politics to get caught in turmoil of controversies, but Pratap Simha clearly put a lot of his popularity and image at risk once he became a politician. Numerous claims stating ‘Pratap Simha has changed after getting into politics’ have triggered a change of opinion in many, but here are a few facts which clarify that Pratap Simha has always been a people’s man.
Apparently, a visitor and friend of Mr.Simha who visited him recently happened to write his experience of seeing the minister. Even amidst his schedule, Pratap Simha was happy to invite an old friend to his home, where, the visitor observes, there was not a single clue that the residence belonged to a popular politician. A basic TV set placed within modest walls of a rented house, only filled with warmth of Pratap Simha’s company. Yes, even after all the fame and establishment, Pratap Simha still lives in a rented house facilitated with modest facilities. If that doesn’t surprise us enough, the man is still indebted with a sum of Rs.19 lakhs. His credit card is still due for Rs.2,90,000.
We wonder why after all, it was stated that Pratap Simha had ‘changed’ after joining politics.
This very Pratap Simha was the one to renew the tobacco farmers’ licences when a farmer committed suicide owing to this reason. As soon as the news of the suicide in Mysore reached him, Pratap Simha coordinated with the then Union Finance Minister and Tobacco Corporation to renew the license of the farmers within a day. Even though there was a significant scarcity in the tobacco growth that year, Pratap Simha’s relentless efforts gave the farmers a new hope and scope for betterment.
For the first time in the history of tobacco, the farmers were ensured a highest average price. In the history of tobacco cultivation, Rs 138 was ensured from the past 3 years. It should also be noted that the previous highest price was Rs 128, that too long back.
Renewal of license led to an increase in the demand of fertilizers, which was also taken care through coordination with the Union Ministry. Nearly 2,850 tonnes of fertilizers were provided to the farmers of Mysore by this very man who was accused of having ‘changed’ after joining politics.
Coffee growers in Mysore were facilitated with a package of Rs.950 crore under the 12th five-year plan, only because of the standpoint held by Pratap Simha. Speaking of grass root level development, Pratap Simha’s contribution towards the agricultural sector of Mysore is unparalleled by any minister in Karnataka.
Here are a few other accomplishments of Pratap Simha after he became the MP of Mysore!!!
• Inception of road construction of NH 275 surrounding Mysore began in 2015. Road development projects for Mysore and Kodagu have been sanctioned a sum of Rs.282 crore and Rs.28 crore respectively. Pratap Simha is personally monitoring the progress of both the projects.
When ‘Detailed Project Report (DPR)’ was done on the Bangalore-Mysore National Highway, it was found that the roads were congested and unable to further expand. So with a zeal of giving better roadways, Mr Simha with the help of central government decided to create a bypass between Bidadi-Mandya. For acquisition of land itself, whopping Rs 2600 amount was spent. What should be noted is that not even a single penny was spent by the Congress-ruled Karnataka Government. All thanks goes to PM Modi and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Another achievement in the field of creating better transportation is the construction of 42 km of ring roads. For this, the amount allocated was Rs156 crores but the person who took up this tender ran away in between. But Mr Simha was so determined that he compleated all the necessary papers works for the project. The highway was accomplished in March 2017 and what is unique about this project is that the construction of 10 feet medians between the roads. In those medians, 6000 saplings were planted which are now 6 feet in height.
• Sanction of Rs 200 crore for the establishment of textile cluster in Mysore, in the union’s very first budget.
• Establishment of post office passport centres in Mysore. Karnataka had 5 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK) and out this, Mysore had none. SM Krishna, a leader of Mysore couldn’t accomplish this even when he became the Foreign Affairs Minister of the country. But after Pratap Simha got elected as an MP, with the blessing of Sushma Swaraj, Post Office Passport Seva Kendras were established in Mysore. This was a long-standing demand of the Mysoreans. Since its inception, 15000 passports have been issued to the people of Mysore.
• The railways of Mysore are today in a much active condition than ever before – as there has been a new rail sanctioned for Varanasi from Mysore, parking slots have been expanded, toilets have been built on platforms and sanitary napkin booths have been installed within stations. New platforms and spacious gardens for passengers to rest have been constructed, which are the most idealistic railway services in the entire country.
• 15 acres of land has been sanctioned for the construction of DC office in Mysore.
• Pratap Simha has raised a total of 519 questions and attended all 10 parliament debates that took place so far!
• For the very first time in India, Mysore main bus stand has instruction plates in Braille script in order to facilitate blind passengers!
• Mysore has the highest number of generic medicine outlets, i.e. 21 of them. Not even Bengaluru has so many outlets.
• K R Hospital has been incorporated with technology worth Rs.1 crore 20 lakhs!
When the people were hit by epidemic diseases, the test samples were sent to Bangalore or else Pune. But Mr Simha ensured that a fund of Rs 1.25 crores was passed to establish Viral Research Diagnostic (VRD) lab in Mysore. What is special is that the testing here is absolutely free. Again the credit goes to Modi government and the efforts of Mr Simha. This is a biggest gift to the people of Mysore from the BJP government.
The list goes on forever. Regardless of all the incredible accomplishments, Pratap Simha has stayed true to his ideals and still leads the life of a common man himself. If he wanted to, he could make his life much easier than it is today – but this man holds on to his virtues like skin. An ardent follower of Narendra Modi and Hindutva, Pratap Simha knows nothing of fear and everything of virtue. There must be no claims of whether the man has changed after joining politics. He has only strived day and night to bring about changes in his constituency, which is only evident everywhere in Mysore.