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Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: Gowdas Dismiss Pre-Poll Surveys, Kumaraswamy Says 'Will be King, Not Kingmaker'

The Gowda clan has made elaborate plans to give a tough fight to Siddaramaiah, their one-time blue-eyed boy, in Karnataka Assembly elections 2018.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:April 15, 2018, 9:38 AM IST
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Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: Gowdas Dismiss Pre-Poll Surveys, Kumaraswamy Says 'Will be King, Not Kingmaker'
File photo of JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda and his son HD Kumaraswamy. (PTI)
Bengaluru: The father–son duo of ex-PM Deve Gowda and ex-CM Kumaraswamy claim that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will be defeated in both Chamundeshwari and Badami Assembly seats.

The Gowda clan has made elaborate plans to give a tough fight to Siddaramaiah, their one-time blue-eyed boy, in this election. HD Kumaraswamy launched his three-day tour of Chamundeshwari constituency on Saturday and plans to visit all important villages in the Chief Minister’s seat for three days.

The senior Gowda is also planning to campaign extensively in both Chamundeshwari and Badami closer to May 12, the day Karnataka votes.

According to family aides, they want to “avenge” the “humiliation” the Gowdas and their party has suffered at the hands of Siddaramaiah in the last five years.

Speaking to News18, Kumaraswamy said that even if Siddaramaiah campaigns in his seats — Ramanagara and Channapatna — for a month, he would not be able to defeat him.

“We will definitely defeat Siddaramaiah this time. He will lose from both Chamundeshwari and Badami. He is an egoistic leader. He has tried his best to finish our party,” Kumaraswamy said.

He also dismissed pre-poll surveys as “inaccurate” and “manufactured”.

“We don’t believe in these surveys. They are all manufactured to suit the interests of the Congress and the BJP. No survey favours us. In 2004, these surveys gave us just two seats. But we won 58 seats and formed two coalition governments. There will be no fractured mandate. It will be our government. I will not be a ‘kingmaker’. I will be a king and we will come to power,” he said.

Deve Gowda has also rubbished all pre-poll surveys, calling them “bogus”. “The media is biased against us. The surveys are done by the rich parties or backed by them. How can we expect them to be fair?” he asked.

According to Janata Dal (Secular) strategists, Chamundeshwari seat has over 72,000 Vokkaliga votes and over 40,000 Veerashaiva votes. Since both are reportedly upset with Siddaramaiah and the BJP is also weak there, the JD(S) can try to dislodge the Chief Minister.

“We are mobilising Vokkaligas and Veerashaivas against Siddaramaiah in a big way. Kumaraswamy has taken it as a matter of prestige. We will ensure that Siddaramaiah will have a tough time and he won’t be able to concentrate on rest of the state,” said a local JD(S) leader.

Secondly, sitting JD(S) MLA from Chamundeshwari GT Deve Gowda is also considered a strong leader in this constituency in the outskirts of Mysore.

In Badami in north Karnataka district of Bagalkote, the JD(S) has fielded a young candidate, Hanumanthappa Mavinamarad, from the same Kuruba caste to which the chief minister belongs.

In the last Assembly elections in 2013, the JD(S) polled 42,000 votes in Badami and the winning Congress candidate polled over 56,000 votes. The JD(S) is hoping to give a tough competition to Siddaramaiah who has decided to contest from two seats to project himself as a pan-Karnataka leader.

But Siddaramaiah is confident of a convincing win in both the seats. “Let Deve Gowda and his son camp in my seat. The people will decide who the best is. I am not scared of them,” he said.

BJP, the main opposition, seems to have decided to focus on its strongholds, leaving Siddaramaiah to the Gowdas. Kumaraswamy is also contesting from two seats — Ramanagara and Channaptna close to Bengaluru. Siddaramaiah has also decided to give him a good fight in both seats.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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