Congress’ incumbent Tumkur MP SP Muddahanumegowda decided on Friday to withdraw his nomination for contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha election, in what has come as a respite for the Congress-JD(S) coalition.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi personally reached out to Muddahanumegowda, asking him to withdraw his nomination.
Muddahanumegowda was hurt when he became the only Congress MP who was denied the ticket as Tumkur was conceded to the JD(S). As a result, he decided to contest from Tumkur, where JD(S) national president HD Deve Gowda is contesting.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao visited Muddahanumegowda at his Bengaluru residence and held talks. Parameshwara later told reporters that he was confident Muddahanumegowda would withdraw his nomination. The incumbent MP then headed to Tumkur to consult his supporters.
The Congress-JD(S) coalition was worried that Muddahanumegowda’s contest would have spelt trouble for Deve Gowda by causing a split in the Vokkaliga votes. The BJP has fielded GS Basavaraju, a Lingayat.