Hassan, Karnataka, Apr 13 : The Hassan Lok Sabha constituency, which has distinction of producing a Prime Minister, is witnessing direct fight between candidate of Coalition partners and BJP in the Polling slated for April 18.
Former Prime Minister and JDS National President H D Devegowda, who represented the Hassan parliamentary constituency for six terms, has relinquished the seat to his grandson Prajwal Revanna, son of PWD Minister H D Revanna and he is locked horn with former Minister A Manju, who quit Congress and contesting on BJP ticket. Though there are four other candidates in the fray, the direct fight is between Prajwal and Manju. There are more than 16.90 lakh voters.
Though Congress and JDS were arch rivals in the Constituency in the previous elections, this time they have joined hands to fight against the BJP. The third generation of former Devegowda’s family has entered the fray in the Vokkaliga heartland. The patriarch has stepped aside to let grandson 28 year-old Prajwal Revanna to continue his legacy.
In 2014 Parliament Election, despite 'Modi' wave, the then Congress candidate Manju tasted defeat when Devegowda (JDS) was declared elected with a margin of over one lakh votes.
The JD(S) holds a formidable position in the constituency, with six out of eight MLAs from the party. The party has won the seat continuously since 1991, except in 1999, with the Congress as its principal Opposition in all these elections. Now, with the Congress and JD(S) having come together simple arithmetic suggests the candidate of the coalition partners should win hands down.
However, it will not be a cake walk for both the candidates since Manju switched over only for BJP ticket and it was protested by some senior leaders and they have decided to remain neutral against the High Commands decision, while there is disgruntleness among JDS leaders and workers since Gowda family promoting only their kins and denying ticket to others. And moreover, Prajwal is facing another task of getting support of Congress leaders as they are also against the party surrendering the seat to coalition partner.
A senior Congress leader, who declined to be named told UNI that “we are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. We have no option but to remain neutral.”
Recently, some leaders of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti, including Artist K T Shivaprasad, declared their support to Manju, irrespective of the party to which he belonged. They cited atrocities faced by Dalits at the hands of JD(S) supporters all these years as the reason for their allegiance to him. They have also made it clear that such a decision was taken because of the absence of a Congress candidate.