Nandan Nilekani on Sunday signed up as a member of the Congress party, completing his transformation from the co-founder of India’s second largest software services company and chief of the Aadhaar project into a full-time politician as he gets set to fight elections. Nilekani, 58, said he was confident of winning the Bangalore South Lok Sabha seat that goes to polls in just over a month and that his entry into the Congress was part of the party’s process re-inventing itself to keep pace with the times.
“Bangalore needs a strong champion in Delhi and I intend to provide that,” Nilekani told reporters after joining the party at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office in Bangalore, flanked by the Congress MLAs whose assembly seats fall within the Bangalore South constituency which has a large middle-class population. The former Infosys CEO is up against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s national general secretary H N Ananth Kumar who has won the seat in five consecutive elections since 1996. In fact, the Congress last won this seat in 1989.
“There comes a time when somebody has to go. That time has arrived,” said Nilekani, referring to his key opponent.
Nilekani, who was officially declared as the party candidate for the seat on Saturday, is expected to soon resign from the chairmanship of the Unique Identification Authority of India, a post he has held for the past five years. “I think I bring some unique experience to the people. First, from scratch, I was co-founder of one of India’s largest companies so I know how to create jobs and I have created lakhs of jobs,” he said.