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Day Before Seat Sharing Meeting with Congress, Kumaraswamy Lays Claim to Mandya Constituency

HD Kumaraswamy's statement comes a day after Sumalatha, wife of late actor-politician Ambareesh, made public her aspiration to contest from Mandya on a Congress ticket.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:March 4, 2019, 1:19 PM IST

Bengaluru: One day before the Congress-JDS coordination committee in Karnataka discusses seat sharing for the Lok Sabha elections, the JDS leaders made it clear that the Mandya and Hassan constituencies -- both JDS seats -- will have to remain with them.

The move comes at a time when Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, was getting all the necessary support from his father and grandfather – JDS chief HD Deve Gowda -- for his political debut.

"I have keenly observed the politics in the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency. There is no question of JDS fleeing from Mandya. Now those who are talking about the pride of Mandya, I know them. I know how much debt of Mandya they have cleared," said Kumaraswamy.

The HDK's statements comes a day after Sumalatha, wife of late actor-politician Ambareesh, made public her aspiration to contest from Mandya on a Congress ticket, a seat for which Nikhil is also an aspirant.

Ambareesh has been a three-time MP and one-time MLA from Mandya. He also quoted his party supporters as saying that there will be development for the state if someone from his family contests.

"Mandya's candidate will be from the JDS. The party will not step back. If Nikhil wants to contest, he will not move to Mysore, he will contest from Mandya. We come from a family where we have fought. We never did cowardly politics, we never said that we would run off to some other place if we lose. We are not going to go away just because somebody threatens us," he said, making his displeasure evident over the news of Congress vying for the seat.

His statements came hours after Deve Gowda gave a go ahead for both his grandsons to contest. "There is nothing wrong in expecting the seats, but everybody knows that Mandya and Hassan are JDS seats. We will not insist but it seems like the JDS need not worry about Mandya and Hassan," Gowda said.

"Nikhil is also an aspirant of Mandya. I told him if he wants to contest he can. Because I do not want a bad name at this age, with people saying that the grandfather favours Prajwal," Gowda added on a lighter note.

His other grandson, Prajwal Revanna, son of minister HD Revanna, is likely to contest from Hassan, the seat held by Gowda presently. In January, Gowda had told News18 that he would vacate the seat for Prajwal. It is not clear where Deve Gowda will be contesting from. "It is not important whether I am contesting or not," he had said.

As if mindful of the fact that he could be accused of dynasty politics, Gowda said that he was not in favour of HD Revanna entering politics and persuaded Prajwal to take up higher studies. But both ended up entering politics, with the latter involving himself in campaigning for JDS for all elections from panchayat level onwards. Similarly, Kumaraswamy was into the film distribution business and his son Nikhil did not want to enter politics for the next two years as he is active in the film industry but is giving into the persuasions of his supporters.

Gowda's two sons and daughter-in-law Anitha Kumaraswamy are currently members of the legislative assembly. The JDS has asked for 12 out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka. Discussions on this are expected to begin on Monday in the coordination committee meeting between the Congress and JDS.

| Edited by: Divya Kapoor
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