HDK says son Nikhil is candidate for Mandya LS seat

HDK says son Nikhil is candidate for Mandya LS seat

Nikhil Kumaraswamy

A day after speculations were rife that his actor-son Nikhil Kumaraswamy might contest from the Mysore Lok Sabha constituency, instead of Mandya, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy stepped in to clarify that there was no question of the former “fleeing” from Mandya.

The JD(S), which had remained tight-lipped about Nikhil’s candidacy, all the while maintaining that it will not cede Mandya to the Congress, on Sunday however declared the actor’s entry into politics and his candidature from the sugar district.

While Kumaraswamy said that his son would contest only from Mandya, his father and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda claimed that his grandson had his “blessings” to contest from the constituency.

Tourism Minister Sa Ra Mahesh too chipped in by proclaiming that Nikhil Kumaraswamy was the party’s “official candidate” from Mandya.

“Keeping in mind the overall development of Mandya and the welfare of its people, farmers and party workers, Nikhil is the official candidate from Mandya,” he said.

Assuming a combative stance after actor Sumalatha Ambareesh’s insistence that she will contest from Mandya and no other constituency, Kumaraswamy said that the JD(S) will not let itself be intimidated by anybody.

“I am keenly observing the politics in Mandya. There is no question of the JD(S) forsaking the seat — the candidate will be from the JD(S). There is also no question of the JD(S) fleeing from the constituency. If Nikhil Kumaraswamy wants to contest these elections, he will not move to Mysore. He will contest from Mandya itself. My family has gone through many struggles. We will not let anybody scare us away. We have never indulged in cowardly politics, like making Nikhil forsake the constituency,” he said, while speaking to reporters in Shivamogga.

Kumaraswamy didn’t shy away from taking a dig at Sumalatha, yet again. “Even during the most difficult times, the people of Mandya have stood by the JD(S). Now, all of a sudden, certain people are expressing their gratitude towards Mandya. I know how many people have actually given back to the people of Mandya. The MLAs, leaders, and the people who have so much love and adulation for me, have expressed that somebody from the Gowda family itself should contest from Mandya. This will help in further development of the district,” he said.

Addressing a press meet in Mangaluru, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda batted for both his grandsons — Nikhil and Prajwal Revanna — stating that they were both interested in contesting the Lok Sabha elections.

“In the recently held bypoll, L R Shivaramegowda of the JD(S) was elected from Mandya constituency. But local people are putting pressure on Nikhil to contest the election. Nikhil too is interested. I have also consented him to contest from Mandya if he is willing,” Gowda said.

Speaking about Prajwal, who is likely to be fielded from Hassan, Gowda said, “He has been active in the Lok Sabha constituency for quite some time now. He has discharged several responsibilities during the election and has a strong desire to continue in politics.”

On Sumalatha vying to contest from Mandya, the former prime minister said that it was natural for her to have such aspirations. He was quick to add that Mandya and Hassan Lok Sabha constituencies had been JD(S) bastions for a long time.

For her part, Sumalatha maintained that she was still waiting for the Congress to announce its decision. Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, she said she was not interested in announcements by other political parties.

“I am yet to hear anything officially from the Congress. I will not take any decisions until I hear from the party,” she said.

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