Mangaluru, Apr 25, 2018: In the midst of fan fare by politicians as they filed their nominations on April 24, a couple, both of who are contesting as independent candidates, silently submitted their papers to returning officers in city.
Maxim Pinto and Reena Pinto, residents of Bajpe, will both contest from the Mangaluru City South constituency, while Maxim has also fielded himself from Mangaluru City North constituency. Reena, on the other hand, has entered the poll fray from the Moodbidri-Mulki constituency as well.
“We have been working hard for the poor and downtrodden. We haven’t sent back anybody who has knocked on our doorstep seeking help. However, we feel that along with social service, political clout is also required. That is why we decided to contest the polls,” Maxim said.
“In a democracy, any citizen can contest the elections. So why not us? We have been there for the people whenever they needed us, albeit without any publicity. Be it bringing government schemes at the doorsteps of the poor or rendering them monetary help for weddings and funerals, we have done our bit for them. I believe we need to be in politics,” said Maxim, a farmer, and who was once a red-stone quarry businessman.
Maxim said he was once a supporter of minister and Congress candidate from Bantwal, B Ramanath Rai, but they parted ways due to personal differences. “The big politicians use you for their personal growth. The aides of these big leaders, irrespective of political parties, rally behind them for personal gains. I do not wish to be in that space,” he said.
Maxim refuted allegations of getting kickbacks from a political party to contest polls. “I haven’t sought favours in cash or kind from any individual or party. I have been honest all my life. I do not even let the panchayat members or any officials take bribes, provided such incidents come to my notice. That is why people are against me.”
Reena Pinto was unavailable for comment. In the election affidavit, Maxim has declared his total assets at Rs 10.6 lakh while Reena has assets worth Rs 24.65 lakh. Wait and watch the game.