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Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: Unlike Siddaramaiah, HD Kumaraswamy Set for Cakewalk in Both His Constituencies

JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy is set to have it easy in both the constituencies — Ramanagara and Channapatna — that he is contesting in. While Ramanagara is Kumaraswamy's constituency, it is being said that he's holding on to Channapatna to later vacate the seat and help his wife win from there.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:May 8, 2018, 8:49 AM IST
Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: Unlike Siddaramaiah, HD Kumaraswamy Set for Cakewalk in Both His Constituencies
Janata Dal (Secular) President HD Kumaraswamy during the party's manifesto release in Bengaluru. (PTI)
Ramanagara and Channapatna: Unlike his arch-rival Siddaramaiah, who has a tough fight on his hands in both Chamundeshwari and Badami, Janata Dal (Secular) state chief HD Kumaraswamy is likely to easily win from both Ramanagara and Channapatna, the two seats he is contesting from. Both are neighbouring seats in the newly created Ramanagara district near Bengaluru.

Kumaraswamy has won from Ramanagara thrice since 2004 but in a surprise move, chose to contest from neighbouring Channapatna as well.

In his new constituency, Kumaraswamy is pitted against sitting BJP MLA CP Yogishwar and transport minister HM Revanna. Yogishwar who won on the SP ticket in 2013 had later joined the Congress. A few months ago, he shifted to BJP and sought re-nomination. HM Revanna, who is an MLC, was Congress’ last minute choice.

The love-hate relationship between film star-turned-politician Yogishwar and Kumaraswamy is legendary. Party insiders, though, claim that it did not play a part in Kumaraswamy's decision to contest from Channapatna. They say he wants to keep the seat safe for wife Anitha Kumaraswamy as she could not contest this time due to a family feud.

“Kumar Anna wanted Anitha Akka to contest from Channapatna. But his nephew Prajwal Revanna also wanted to contest during this election. Kumaraswamy opposed it, leading to feud, which subsequently meant he could not field his wife. Once the election is over, he will retain Ramanagara seat and will vacate Channapatna for his wife,” said a JD(S) worker.

Taking no chances, Kumaraswamy has extensively campaigned in his new constituency and a team of dedicated party volunteers are working to ensure that the win is comfortable.

The BJP has no presence here and Yogishwar is solely dependent on his personal charisma to retain the seat. Speaking to News18 he said, “Kumaraswamy will quit even if he wins from here. There will be a by-election. Waste of money and time. I am the strongest here and I will win. The people are not fools to vote for him.”

Congress’ HM Revanna, a Kuruba by caste, is new to the constituency. Both Kumaraswamy and Yogishwar are Vokkaligas, who account for more than 50% of the population in Channapatna. According to JD(S) spokesman Gangadharamurthy, Revanna has no chance in this election and the actual fight was between Kumaraswamy and Yogishwar.

On the other hand, in Ramanagara, Kumaraswamy does not seem to have any real competition from the Congress or BJP. The Congress has fielded a local Muslim candidate Iqbal Hussain, with an eye on the sizeable minority voters working in Asia’s largest silk market here.

“There are over 50,000 Muslim voters in Ramanagara. If the Muslims, OBCs, SC/STs back Congress, even Kumaraswamy can be defeated. It is not that all Vokkaligas vote for the Gowda family. We are making a serious effort to wrest the seat from him,” said Hussain.

Meanwhile, the BJP has fielded Leelavathi, an unknown face, which the Congress say has given credence to their claim of JD(S) being BJP’s B-team.

“Tejaswini Gowda was a serious contender for the seat from BJP. She would have given a good fight to Kumaraswamy. Denying her the ticket proves that there is a secret deal between Gowda and Modi,” said state Congress campaign committee general secretary Milind Dharmasena.

The JD(S) chief though is unaffected by the allegations and has denied any pre-poll alliance. Speaking to News18, he said, “All castes and religions love me. I don’t need to campaign much. I will win from Ramanagara and Channapatna. As for an alliance, I am neither with BJP nor Congress.”
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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