He gave up his job in San Francisco to contest the elections in Karnataka. Ravi Krishna Reddy, a software engineer who has been in the United States for the past six years, decided to come down to his home state of Karnataka and fight the elections as an independent candidate from the Jayanagar constituency in Bengaluru.
Handing out pamphlets which state in bold letters, 'A software engineer's fight against immoral, illegal and unethical politics', he says that he could make a difference in his own way to the system, if voted to power.
Reddy, who has been sitting in front of the Mahatma Gandhi [Images] statue in Bengaluru with a Toshiba notebook on his lap is on a fast for the past three days. He says he wants to convey a message to all politicians in the state to abide by the directives of the Election Commission, which has set a spending limit of Rs 10 lakh per candidate.
Reddy says that although none of the biggies in the IT sector have come forward so far, he would bank on the votes from this sector itself. He says that he identified Jayanagar as his constituency since the area has a large number of intellectuals.
The techie says that he has been raising all his funds to contest the polls through donations, most of which is done online. So far he has raised Rs 3.5 lakh and most of the contribution has been from techies. The maximum number of donors has been from the US, while there have been 15 donors so far from Bengaluru.
Reddy is aware that the general complaint against the IT sector in Bengaluru is that a large number of them do not come out and vote. He says that he is trying to influence this class of people to come out and vote. He says that it is unfortunate that these people have great views, but when it comes to taking a stand, they back out.
There are various factors that inspired him to contest the elections. First and foremost, he felt that the state needed some good leaders. Secondly, there was a perception that people from the IT sector were self-centred and indifferent; all they cared about is their career, money and luxuries in life. "Being a software engineer myself, I want to prove the people wrong," he said.
"Our sector is capable of collectively demonstrating that we too can be socially responsible and engaged in society," he added.