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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Prajwal's sleaze case may soil Gowda family's image in Vokkaliga belt

A BJP leader told DH that Prajawal’s sleaze case and arrest of former minister H D Revanna will surely weaken latter’s hold over Hassan.
Last Updated : 05 May 2024, 23:05 IST
Last Updated : 05 May 2024, 23:05 IST

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Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna’s sleaze case might become the biggest impediment for his uncle and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, who is aiming to rebuild the party from the grassroots by joining hands with the BJP in Karnataka.

A senior JD(S) leader told DH that Kumaraswamy was rattled after his son, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, lost elections in Mandya in 2019 and Assembly election from Ramanagara in 2023. Besides his party’s strength in Assembly came down from 37 seats in 2018 to 19 in 2023.

“After losing nearly 50% of the seats in Assembly polls, he was a worried man and soon after the polls, some of the leaders of ruling Congress and the BJP started talking about luring the JD(S) MLAs to their respective sides. Such rumours had worsened his worries and he finally decided to lean on the BJP’s crutches to resurrect the party,” party sources said.

Thus Kumaraswamy took the initiative of convincing his father and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda first and then he came in contact with Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who reportedly helped Kumaraswamy to forge an alliance with the BJP six months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, sources added. By forging the alliance, he also wanted to gain the confidence of Lingayats in the old Mysuru region.

Another senior leader said that most of the MLAs were worried about their future by continuing their association with the JD(S) as the sleaze episode of Prajwal had now loosened the Gowda family’s grip over the Vokkaliga community.

“The party and leaders could have defended if it were clips of one or two women. But unfortunately, clips with multiple victims cannot be defended at all. We have become helpless in this case. Even the Vokkaliga community may not like to associate with Gowda family as earlier,” he explained. 

A BJP leader told DH that Prajawal’s sleaze case and arrest of former minister H D Revanna will surely weaken latter’s hold over Hassan. “At this juncture, family feud between brothers - Kumaraswamy and Revanna - may not come to the fore as Revanna’s family is on the backfoot now. Revanna’s priorities will be to set his house in order rather than fight for supremacy,” the leader noted.

Venkatesh Thogarighatta, a political analyst, told DH that the sex scandal is certainly a serious blow to the party, but its future will depend on how the Vokkaliga community, which is its biggest backer, views the scandal.

He said the party was already bruised and battered in fights on multiple fronts and the sex scandal was rubbing salt on its wounds.

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Published 05 May 2024, 23:05 IST

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