Family members won’t contest bypolls: Gowda

Deve Gowda

JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda on Thursday said none of his family members will contest the impending bypolls to 17 Assembly constituencies. 

With this, Gowda laid to rest speculation that his grandsons Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Prajwal Revanna may be fielded from KR Pet and Hunsur constituencies, respectively. Nikhil, who lost the Lok Sabha election from Mandya, is currently the party’s youth wing president, whereas Prajwal is the Hassan MP. 

Of the 17 Assembly segments that may face bypolls, the JD(S) had won three, but K C Narayana Gowda (KR Pet), H Vishwanath (Hunsur) and K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout) tendered resignation, following which they were disqualified as MLAs. 

“No one from our family will contest the bypolls,” Gowda told reporters. “In KR Pet, Hunsur and Mahalakshmi Layout, our candidates will be decided by our local leaders and party workers,” he added. 

This assumes significance as Gowda is aware that the JD(S) lost badly in the Lok Sabha polls as public opinion had turned against dynasty politics. 

“Some said Prajwal should be fielded in byelection, so that I can contest for Parliament again. I told them that a young man has gone to Parliament. I will focus on building the party,” the former prime minister said. 

The JD(S) may not field candidates in all 17 Assembly segments, Gowda said, citing the example of how his party had conceded the Gundlupet and Nanjangud constituencies to the Congress during byelections in the past. “The Congress took our candidates and won.” 

But whether or not the JD(S) will forge a pre-poll alliance with the Congress for the bypolls will be decided by Congress’ interim president Sonia Gandhi, the former prime minister said. 

Gowda, however, said no one can call the JD(S) anybody’s ‘B’ team, a comment seemingly directed at Congress leader Siddaramaiah, his bete noire. Ahead of the Assembly polls last year, the Congress had dubbed the JD(S) as BJP’s ‘B’ team. “No one can call us the ‘B’ team. I suffered because of that, but still kept quiet.”

New website

Gowda launched the official website of the JD(S) - www.janatadals.com - which the veteran leader said will help the party connect with the people.

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