Tumkur imbroglio resolved after Rahul’s intervention

Tumkur imbroglio resolved after Rahul’s intervention

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao holds talks with Tumkur MP S P Muddahanumegowda at latter's residence in Bengaluru on Friday. DH PHOTO

Congress’ incumbent Tumkur MP S P Muddahanumegowda withdrew his nomination to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election on Friday, providing respite for the Congress-JD(S) coalition.

This clears the path for JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda’s candidature against the BJP’s GS Basavaraju.  

Congress president Rahul Gandhi personally reached out to Muddahanumegowda asking him to withdraw his nomination. 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.

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 and filed his nomination both as a Congress candidate and as an independent.  

Friday was the last date for candidates to withdraw their nomination for the 14 seats that go to polls on April 18, including Tumkur.

In what was seen as a final show of protest, Muddahanumegowda did not personally withdraw his nomination papers, sending instead his close associate Rayasandra Ravi Kumar to the election authorities’ office to do so.

Muddahanumegowda’s supporter, former legislator K N Rajanna also withdrew his nomination as an independent candidate.

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 Basavaraju, a Lingayat.