Mandya: Visibly exasperated over the lack of co-operation from Congress leaders in Mandya which could very wreck the polls prospects of his grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy who is the Mandya JD(S) candidate, party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda on Thursday remarked that even if he and former CM Siddaramaiah together held a joint campaign in the constituency, it would be difficult to see Nikhil through the hustings.
It was maybe the first admission from the former PM that the going was getting extremely tough for Nikhil, CM H.D. Kumaraswamy's son and that the Congress was to blame for it. Deve Gowda's obvious target was the group of former Congress legislators who had suffered humiliating defeats at the hands of JD(S) MLAs in the May 2018 Assembly polls before the coalition was formed and who were now trying to 'get even' with CM H.D. Kumaraswamy by defeating his son in Mandya.
“I did not want to field Nikhil, as I was fully aware that the issue of dynastic politics would come up but local JD(S) leaders pressurised me to bring him into politics,” he disclosed. Making an emotional speech at KR Pet, the former Prime Minister said that he was not confident that local Congress leaders would work hard for the victory of the coalition candidate but warned, “no one can finish off my party. As PM, I worked for the welfare of farmers and gave a transparent government for 18 months. But now, my enemies want to insult me and my son. They will be taught a lesson in the coming elections.”
Claiming that he had information that local Congress leaders were working against the 'coalition dharma', Mr. Gowda alleged that former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna, State BJP President B.S. Yeddyurappa and Mandya Congress leaders had teamed up to defeat his grandson in Mandya.
He took potshots at actors Darshan and Yash who are campaigning for Independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh recalling that he had requested film legend Dr Rajkumar to contest against former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Chikkamagalur in the 1970s. But, Dr Rajkumar politely refused saying politics was not his cup of tea.
“The new lot of actors want to get involved in politics though it is not their field. People may come in large numbers to see them but it would not be enough to fetch votes for their candidate,” he said. Despite the diktat from the high command, taluk Congress leaders stayed away from the joint campaign with former Congress MLA Chandrashekar, Prakash and Taluk unit President Kikkeri Suresh giving Mr Gowda's event a miss.
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