While the Janata Dal (S) and the Congress have been having an unseemly rift in Mandya and Mysuru-Kodagu parliament constituencies, in Tumkur, both the coalition parties have set aside their differences and are working for the Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s victory.
JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda’s is hoping that if there is a fractured mandate at the centre, his coalition building skills and his son-of-farmer image might help him garner some support for a shot again at the PM’s post.
Deve Gowda shifted from his native Hassan parliament constituency to Tumkur making way for his grandson Prajwal Revanna in Hassan.
In Tumkur, The JD(S) has won three of the eight Assembly segments in Tumkur in the 2018 state elections, while the BJP won four and the Congress got one seat. As for the number of votes, JD(S) has received 4,90,963 votes while BJP had received 3,90,818, votes and Congress got 3,30,632 votes in the eight assembly constituencies during the 2018 poll. Simple math should put him ahead in the race, but it is not so simple.
Deve Gowda had contested from Hassan in 1991, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 and was once defeated in 1999 by Congress nominee G. Puttaswamy Gowda. Though he has shifted to Tumkur he is not seen as an outsider at all, as the constituency falls within the Vokkaliga belt where his image and family holds sway.
It is not that Deve Gowda has not faced defeat. In the year 2004 election, Deve Gowda contested from Hassan and Kanakapura and lost to Congress’s Tejaswini Ramesh in Kanakapura.
This time in Tumkur, Deve Gowda will fight 77-year-old G S Basavaraju from BJP. Interestingly, Basavaraju had won Tumkur parliamentary seat three times on a Congress ticket (1988, 89 and 1999) and in 2009, he won the seat on a BJP ticket. Basavaraju, however, lost to Muddahanumegowda of Congress in 2014 elections despite Narendra Modi wave in the country.
It is interesting to note that Deve Gowda who has an experience of six decades in politics took time to decide to file his candidature from Tumkur. Deve Gowda was planning to contest from Bangalore North constituency, but opted for Tumakuru, after assessing the segment and also due to the strength of JD (S).
Meanwhile sitting MP Muddahanumegowda gave the Congress leadership a tough time by filing his nomination papers as an independent. AICC president Rahul Gandhi had to quell the dissent by talking to Muddahanumegowda after state senior leaders failed to do.
After the Hanumegowda episode, senior Congress leader G Parameshwara also appeared to have some reservations. G Parameshwara, said, “Congress party high command decided to give Tumkur to JD(S). We never expected that Devegowda ji will contest from Tumkur. Now, that he has decided to contest, naturally we will support him to ‘obey the coalition dharma’,”
Click here for more election news
After the rift came to an end Deve Gowda along with Congress leader and Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka G Parameshwara who is from the district are now campaigning to ensure that Deve Gowda will win the election.
Tumkur district is dominated by the population of Vokkaligas and Veerashaiva-Lingayats, comes under the Old Mysore region of Karnataka. Deve Gowda is from the Vokkaliga community and Basavaraju from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community. Though the JD(S) has not won an MP seat here, C N Bhaskarappa from undivided Janata Dal candidate won the constituency in the year 1996.
Even Yeddyurappa who is oozing confidence of winning 22 seats in Karnataka does not seem to add Tumkur as one of his winning seats. He only says the BJP will give a good fight. So it is advantage Deve Gowda all the way.