Deve Gowda Files Nomination From Tumkur, to Face Congress MP as Electoral Arrangement Defied
Sitting Congress MP SP Muddahanumegowda filed his nomination wearing the Congress party's scarf and said he still has faith about getting a ticket from his party.
File photo of HD Deve Gowda.
Bengaluru: JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda Monday filed his nomination from Tumkur as the ruling alliance candidate, but will have to face a rebel candidate from alliance partner Congress.
Defying the electoral arrangement between the coalition partners under which Tumkur was allotted to JDS, sitting Congress MP S P Muddahanumegowda filed his papers. 85 year-old Gowda submitted his papers at the Deputy Commissioner's office in Tumkur in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara of Congress and other leaders.
Speaking after filing his nomination, Gowda called on workers of both Congress and JD(S) to work unitedly to fight the "communal BJP".
Asking workers of both parties to forget the rift between them in the past, he said, "We have united now and formed the coalition government in Karnataka and let's face this election also together."
"...let's prove the small incidents between us that are being projected as big are wrong and we will work together in all the 28 seats..." he added.
Gowda, who had given the Hassan Lok Sabha seat that he has been representing to his grandson Prajwal Revanna, chose Tumkur over Bangalore North seat. On the other hand, Muddahanumegowda filed his nomination wearing the Congress party's scarf and said he still has faith about getting a ticket from his party.
"I'm filing my nomination as the Congress candidate... I'm not filing the nomination for fun, I'm a Member of Parliament from Tumkur and I'm contesting" he told reporters ahead of filing his nomination.
Responding to a question about Congress reportedly offering Bangalore North ticket to him, he said, "I'm a Member of Parliament from Tumkur, I don't have powers to contest from anywhere, I should not do it also. I'm not a big leader to contest from anywhere...what should I do going to Bangalore North?"
"Tomorrow is the last date for filing nomination, I still have faith...anything may happen any time in politics. There is time till 3 PM tomorrow, I will wait," he said to a query about his move in case the Congress does not give him a ticket. The JD(S), which had got eight tickets, Monday conceded Bangalore North seat to the Cognress that had secured 20 of the total of 28 seats in the deal.
Meanwhile, according to reports, K N Rajanna, another Congress leader and former MLA, has also filed his nomination on Monday from Tumkur as an independent candidate. Asked about Rajanna's nomination, Muddahanumegowda said he was not aware of it.
As soon as the seat sharing was announced, Muddahanumegowda, along with the Deputy Chief Minister, who is from Tumkur, had requested JD(S) to give the seat back to Congress, amid simmering discontent within the party's local leadership about ceding the seat to the alliance partner.
They had also requested the Congress high command to renegotiate the seat with the JD(S), as the grand old party had earlier decided that all the sitting members, including Muddahanumegowda from Tumkur, will get the ticket. However, Parameshwara had later said they were okay if Deve Gowda himself contests from Tumkur. BJP has fielded G S Basavaraj as its candidate from Tumkur.
According to sources, JD(S) bagged Tumkur seat after hard bargaining with the Congress as the party did not concede Mysore, another seat it had demanded, due to strong resentment from CLP leader Siddaramaiah, as it is his home turf.
Mysore and Tumkur both come under old Mysuru region, where the Vokkaliga community, seen as a strong vote bank of the JD(S), is dominant.
Congress too has considerable presence there. If Muddahanumegowda contests from Tumkur as a rebel candidate, it will add to the Congress-JD(S) coalition worries as the alliance is facing backlash at several places, including Mandya and Hassan, with party workers are unhappy with the seat arrangements.
For the coalition to emerge as a formidable opposition to BJP and win more number of seats, it is crucial for the Congress to transfer its votes to JD(S) and vice-versa, including Mandya.
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