On Sunday, he gave strong indications that he will be the candidate. On Monday, his father H D Deve Gowda opined that his son should not be contesting. Then, Kumaraswamy said he would not contest the poll. But, in the evening, he said he would contest due to pressure from the party workers. Thus, till late in the evening, he wasn’t sure whether he would be the candidate. At a meeting at the party office, some JD(S) workers from Channapatna raised a hue and cry over Kumaraswamy’s decision not to contest. He pacified them saying he would file the papers on Wednesday.
He claimed that he had called the meeting only to convey that he won’t be the candidate. “Individuals are not important. The party is. You should ensure the party’s victory, no matter who the candidate is,” he told the workers.
However, the JD(S) workers from Channapatna refused to heed and insisted that he should contest the bypoll. Some of them even tore their shirts and staged protests in front of Kumaraswamy.
The former chief minister is in a quandary. He has to retain the seat, but the party does not have a candidate who can win. Any candidate that the party fields will mainly depend on Kumaraswamy’s popularity to win. But the local workers want Kumaraswamy himself to contest, after resigning as MP.
Sources said many of the party leaders in Channapatna have threatened to keep away from the byelection, if Kumaraswamy does not contest.
The party is likely to come out with the final decision on Tuesday. Deve Gowda will issue the ‘B’ form to the candidates on Tuesday, sources said.