Tumakuru, Karnataka, Apr 14 : It will be a tough challenge for former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) Supremo H D Devegowda, who after leaving his traditional seat Hassan LS seat to his Grandson Prajwal Revanna, is testing his political fortune from Tumakuru, where JD(S) has never won a LS seat in the past.
Though his candidature was supported by Congress, coalition partner in the State Government, he has to face tough fight from BJP candidate G S Basavaraju, who is trying his best to take full advantage of disgruntlement existing in both Congress and JDS.
Though the Congress leaders including KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao, CLP leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and others have claimed that the the disgruntlement among the Congress cadre and local leaders who refused to campaign for JD(S), with Congress sitting party member Mudduhanume Gowda, denied the party ticket and had threatened to be rebal candidate, has himself stated that he will work for the victory of Devegowda.
The patriarch dreams to play a major political role in the national politics by making Karnataka as a platform for the opposition unity or 'ghatbhandan'.
A political maverick Devegowda intends to give his regional party JDs a boost and has joined hands with the Congress to fight BJP.
Devegowda, who has turned 86, has announced that this is his last election and will not contest in the next. He has introduced his two grandsons to Politics and has fielded them in Mandya, Nikhil K, son of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, the Cauvery heart land and Prajwal Revanna, son of his another son and Minister H D Revanna, to contest from Hassan, which he had won six times and had even become the Prime Minister.
However, his move to promote his family members has angered many in the Vokkaliga-dominated party and may have to face the rebellion across old Mysuru region.
BJP’s G S Basavaraj, a war horse who had won the seat thrice on Congress ticket and once on BJP’s ticket. Basavraj is a Lingayat and the two dominant communities both Vokkaliga and a Lingayat are fighting here.
Devegowda had till the last moment the fear of rebellion by sitting Congress MP Muddahanume Gowda of the Congress who was pressured to withdraw as part of the coalition dharma. Another Congress rebel K N Rajanna was also asked ticket withdrew from the contest in favour of Devegowda.
There are 13,88,773 voters, including 683,193 Women and 705,580 are Men in the segment.
In 2014 LS election, despite ‘Modi’ wave, Congress candidate Muddahanume Gowda won by a margin of nearly 75,000 votes, defeating his BJP rival G S Basavaraj.
Electorates of Tumakuru are expressing their grouse against Gowda, Kumaraswamy and Revanna alleging that they have opposed Hemavathi river water to parched Tumakuru District saying that not much water was let out on Bagur-Navile canal that fills tanks and lakes in this parched district.
A section of local Congress leaders fear that giving Devegowda a chance to contest from Tumakuru would be like giving their bastion on a platter to JDS.
The Congress and BJP candidates have won ten and four times from the same constituency. It was a Congress stronghold from 1952 to 1989, till it lost ground to the saffron party.A section of local Congress leaders fears that giving Deve Gowda a chance to contest from Tumkuru would give them their fort to JDs.
Tumakuru constituency, a dry land region, is spread over 6,706 sq km. It had 15,94,703 registered voters, including 7,97,512 Male and 7,97,191 Female till January 2019. (UNI)