Defying the pre-poll understanding between the ruling alliance partners in Karnataka, two Congress leaders Monday filed their nominations for the Tumkur Lok Sabha constituency — the seat from where former prime minister and JD(S) president H D Deve Gowda announced he would contest.
While the JDS announced Gowda’s name as the joint candidate, Congress leaders KN Rajanna and SP Muddahanumegowda have rebelled against the move.
Muddahanumegowda, who won from Tumkur in the last election, requested JD(S) to reconsider their decision of fielding Gowda from Tumkur. “I have filed my nomination as a Congress candidate. I request to my leader and leaders of JD(S) to reconsider their decision andto give the ticket to me only. I am confident that I will get back the seat,” he told news agency ANI.
Announcing his decision to file the papers from Tumkur, Congress MLA KN Rajanna said he would vote for the Gowda if “he chooses to contest as Congress candidate.” “We request Deve Gowda to contest from Bengaluru North instead of Tumkur. If Deve Gowda wants to contest from here, let him contest on Congress ticket, we all will vote for him,” he told news agency ANI.
Reacting to the development, Deputy Chief Minister from the Congress G. Parameshwara, who hails from Tumkur district, said the seat was never meant to be given to JD(S) but the party would now support Deve Gowda.
“Tumkur was not be given to JD(S) but the party high command decided to give it. We never expected that Deve Gowda ji will contest from Tumkur. Now, that he has decided to contest, naturally we will support him.”
Gowda had been dallying between Tumkur and Bangalore North but chose the former after the BJP announced the candidature of G S Basavaraj — a pick of BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa — from Tumkur.
The discontent among party workers can be worrisome for Congress as the party is already facing a backlash at several places, including Mandya and Hassan, where leaders are unhappy with the seat arrangements. Both Mandya and Hassan have been left for the debut of Deve Gowda’s grandsons.
In the seat-sharing deal with the Congress, JD(S) will contest on eight of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka. Tumkur was the only seat given to the JD(S) from the Congress’ kitty of 10 Lok Sabha seats.