Even Siddaramaiah can't help now, Deve Gowda on Mandya

The situation in Mandya has gone beyond control and even Congress leader Siddaramaiah cannot help it, JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda has said, suggesting for the first time that his grandson Nikhil was facing a not-so-easy election.  DH file photo

The situation in Mandya has gone beyond control and even Congress leader Siddaramaiah cannot help it, JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda has said, suggesting for the first time that his grandson Nikhil was facing a not-so-easy election. 

Gowda was referring to dissidence in the Congress, with a section of party leaders unwilling to support Nikhil's candidature against independent candidate Sumalatha. 

Nikhil is the son of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, whereas Sumalatha is the widow of popular actor-turned-politician, the late Ambareesh. 

"Many have decided to cause Kumaraswamy embarrassment. The situation has become extreme. Even Siddaramaiah can't resolve this now," Gowda said during a rally at KR Pet on Thursday. 

"Many people have strayed too far now. We won't go to their doorstep, but we will go to the people. They are the family and friend to us," he said, before launching a veiled attack on Sumalatha, an actor, who has found support from film stars Darshan and Yash. "There's no bigger actor than Rajkumar. When Indira Gandhi contested from Chikmagalur, we went to Rajkumar asking him to contest, but he didn't agree. This district (Mandya) has elected actors several times. But how much has that benefitted us? We must think about this," he said. 

At Srirangapatna, Gowda said he had respect for the Congress. "My respect for the Congress hasn't reduced despite me losing the PM's chair. But I'm pained looking at the current developments," he said. 

The Congress is grappling with dissidence at the grassroots, with a section of party cadre refusing to support Nikhil. Some are working for Sumalatha, who was denied the Congress ticket as the Mandya Lok Sabha seat was conceded to the JD(S) as part of the pre-poll seat-sharing arrangement. 

Earlier this week, Siddaramaiah held talks with Mandya's Congress leaders, but the late night meeting remained inconclusive. The party leaders maintained that they were reluctant to support or campaign for Nikhil. 

Meanwhile, Congress workers in the Indavalu village in Mandya taluk openly declared their support to Sumalatha. They said they would wave the Congress' flag for Sumalatha. 

"I was not in favour of Nikhil's candidature, but all the eight JD(S) legislators mounted pressure that he be fielded," Gowda said. "Kumaraswamy's opponents have ganged up against him, but they won't succeed," he added. 

Gowda even shed a tear. "Some are targeting Kumaraswamy and me. No worry. But Mandya is like my other eye. Is it justice if the Mandya people take what others are saying seriously," an emotional Gowda asked. 

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Even Siddaramaiah can't help now, Deve Gowda on Mandya

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