Only two members of Gowda family will contest LS polls: HDK

In a bid to shed the tag of being a family heirloom, the JD(S) will field only two members of the H D Deve Gowda family in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. 

“While the family patriarch (Deve Gowda) will contest from Hassan, a family member will be fielded again from the Bangalore Rural seat,” JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy told Deccan Herald on Sunday. He claimed the decision was arrived at “reluctantly” as party workers were “not ready” to accept any other candidate in the two constituencies. 

Kumaraswamy said the party candidate’s stinging loss in the Bangalore Rural by-election last year was a “learning experience”. In that election, his wife, Anita Kumaraswamy, lost to D K Suresh, the brother of Cabinet minister D K Shivakumar. 

Kumaraswamy attributed the defeat to the “folly” of joining hands with the BJP. He said the party did not realise that it was a “conspiracy” hatched by the Congress party and the BJP to “annihilate” the JD(S). He, however, insisted that his party retained its vote share during the last two times he faced elections. “The same vote share was retained when Anita Kumaraswamy contested in the by-election,” he said. 

The former chief minister described as “speculation” reports that Bhavani Revanna, the wife of his brother H D Revanna, might be fielded in the Lok Sabha elections. 

The JD(S), Kumaraswamy said, was likely to support C S Puttaraju in Mandya, for lack of a better option. He said the party was trying to end differences among local leaders in that constituency to ensure that a united fight is put up in the Lok Sabha elections. 

Kumaraswamy further said that while he would not contest the Lok Sabha elections, a sitting MLA might be fielded from Mysore as there were no candidates in that constituency. 

This seems to put an end to speculations that Pramoda Devi, widow of Srikantadatta Wadiyar, will be fielded from Mysore on JD(S) ticket. Kumaraswamy insisted that Devi might not be inclined to contest the elections. JD(S) sources, however, said they would approach her in the next few days, in a last-ditch effort to convince her to contest on JD(S) ticket. 

Meanwhile, the party has more or less finalised candidates for about 21 seats, as it has little or no base in north and coastal Karnataka. 

Kumaraswamy said the JD(S) was still exploring the third front or a ‘United Front’ with a 17-party alliance. The party, in association with other regional and Left parties, was all set to hold a mega rally in the second week of February. 

It is said the JD(S) has invited all regional parties. Many present and former chief minister of quite a few States may attend the rally. 

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