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Our Own Leaders Worked Against Deve Gowda, Gave Money to Benefit BJP: Tumkur Congress to High Command

Tumkur District Congress president R Ramakrishna wrote to general secretary KC Venugopal blaming party leaders for the defeat of Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition candidate, HD Deve Gowda, in the Lok Sabha constituency.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:June 2, 2019, 2:15 PM IST
Our Own Leaders Worked Against Deve Gowda, Gave Money to Benefit BJP: Tumkur Congress to High Command
File photo of HD Deve Gowda.

Bengaluru: While the Congress-JDS coalition in Karnataka is introspecting the Lok Sabha poll debacle, the Tumkur Congress has, in a letter sent to the party high command, blamed its own party workers for the defeat of the coalition candidate in the constituency.

The report, written by Tumkur district Congress president R Ramakrishna and addressed to AICC general secretary and Karnataka in-charge, KC Venugopal, says: former MP SP Muddahanumegowda and former MLA, KN Rajanna, were working against the party which led to the defeat of the coalition candidate HD Deve Gowda.

"After the defeat we faced in the elections, I toured across assembly constituencies in Tumkur parliamentary constituency to understand the reasons for the defeat. I spoke to leaders, party workers and voters. I got information that these two had worked against the party to defeat the coalition candidate," Ramakrishna told News18.

Deve Gowda lost to BJP's GS Basavaraj by a margin of 13,339 votes. The ‘NOTA’ option got the fourth highest votes of 10,295. Congress's Muddahanumegowda had won the seat in 2014 by a margin of over 70,000 votes.

A lack of unity between the Congress and JDS workers in Tumkur led to the BJP winning the seat, Ramakrishna says in the two-page report. Muddahanumegowda and former MLA Rajanna had filed nominations to contest as independent candidates and dramatically withdrew it later. The former MLA restricted his campaign only to two places -- Madhugiri and Kolala -- and failed to get their supporters to back the coalition candidate.

The report says that had vote transfer taken place as expected, Deve Gowda would have won with a margin of more than one lakh votes.

"In Madhugiri assembly constituency in 2018, the BJP secured around 2,500 votes. In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP got 72,909 votes. They are the reason behind this," Ramakrishna said in his letter.

Madhugiri was represented by Rajanna in 2013. Rajanna had also publicly stated that he would work against the candidate if the seat did not go to the Congress.

"I have information that these leaders distributed money and asked people to vote for the BJP. They even distributed the Congress party’s money asking votes for the BJP," he added.

Ramakrishna has named youth congress vice president R Rajendra, several jilla panchayat and taluk panchayat members as responsible for the defeat of the coalition candidate.

The Tumkur seat went to the JDS as part of the coalition partners' seat-sharing formula. The Congress-JDS coalition won only two seats out of the 28. The BJP won 25 and independent candidate backed by the BJP won one.

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