The “ever-smiling” D V Sadananda Gowda, a former Chief Minister, and C Narayanaswamy, known as gentlemen and sober politicians, are slugging it out in what both consider as a “safe seat” for them in a “decent” fight.
Narayanaswamy, who has risen from the grassroot politics, was chosen the Congress candidate after winning the primaries, reportedly with the solid backing of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Gowda had a brief stint as Chief Minister succeeding B S Yeddyurappa after he quit the top post over corruption charge in 2011. He had to relinquish chief minister’s post as Yeddyurappa wanted his scalp as he felt Gowda was growing too big for his boots and was replaced by Jagadish Shettar.
He had also to struggle to get the ticket for the constituency for which powerful state leader and former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok too had laid claim before bowing out to remain in state politics.
JDS has fielded cop-turned politician Abdul Azeem and Aam Aadmi Party Babu Mathew, a trade union leader and former registrar of the National Law School of India University.
Observers note that both candidates have the potential to tilt the scales.
Gowda is hoping to retain the seat which his party colleague Chandre Gowda won in the 2009 polls but is battling the “outsider” tag as he is from Dakshina Kannada district.
He had been an MP twice earlier.