Turning the heat on former Prime Minister and JDS chief H D Deve Gowda, the ruling Congress in Karnataka has launched a full scale offensive to break his stranglehold over Hassan Lok Sabha constituency making it a bumpy ride for him in the Vokkaliga heartland. I
n the twilight of his Parliamentary career, 81-year-old Gowda is playing the sentimental card, telling voters this would be his last polls as he slugs it out to retain his supremacy in a constituency dominated by his Vokkaliga caste.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Energy Minister D K Shivakumar, both hostile to Gowda, have invested heavily into the battle with the latter even micro-managing the strategy. Gowda, who is seeking re-election for the fifth time in Hassan, is pitted against Congress’ Manju, a three-time MLA also hailing from the Vokkaliga community who form over five lakh out of the 15-lakh voter base.
- Varun Gandhi Under Attack Over Defence Deals: Here’s How
- This Diwali, Let Blind Students Brighten Up your Homes With Candles & Diyas
- CBI Files Supplementary Chargesheet In Sheena Bora Murder Case
- Soha Ali Khan And Vir Das Starrer 31st October Audience Reaction
- Sahara Chief Subrata Roy’s Parole Extended Till November 28
- Simple Tips To Secure Your Debit Card From Fraudsters
- New Zealand & India Team Being Welcomed In Chandigarh
- Mumbai Call Centre Scam: All You Need To Know
- Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Appeals To Police: Here’s What She Said
- Shocker From Ahmedabad: Find Out What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 Day 3 Review: Celebs Fail To Do Well in First Task
- Airtel Offers 10GB Data At Rs 259 For New 4G Smartphone Users
- Aamir Khan Starrer Dangal’s Trailer Launched: First Impressions
- TMC Supporters Attack BJP Leader Babul Supriyo
- Sri Lankan Navy Apprehends 20 Indian Fishermen
C H Vijayashankar of BJP has entered the fray half-heartedly after initial reluctance over denial of his claim to contest from Mysore, his home turf. A P Ahamad of BSP and six independents are also in the fray. Hassan has remained unflinchingly loyal to JD(S) since 1991 barring the 1999 elections where Gowda lost to former minister G Puttaswamy Gowda (Cong) by over 1.47 lakh votes soon after he stepped down as prime minister.
Siddaramaiah has parked his top ministers in Hassan including Vokkaliga leaders, to woo the community and strategise at the micro level. For Siddaramaiah, the election is an opportunity to settle personal scores over Gowda, who reportedly had denied the Kuruba leader to become chief minister during Congress-JDS coalition rule in 2006.
He stepped in to end differences between Manju and District Congress President B Shivaram. Shivakumar, also a Vokkaliga, had taken the fight into the JDS bastion and defeated Gowda’s daughter-in-law Anita Kumaraswamy in 2013 Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha bypolls.