HASSAN: Will it be a repeat of the 1994 Assembly poll in Holenarsipur when former minister and JD(S) nominee H.D. Revanna managed to scrape through by a mere 122 votes in his maiden contest against former MP Puttaswamy Gowda of the Congress? The under currents in the constituency and caste calculations prove it’s not going to be an easy ride for Revanna this time.
Holenarsipur was represented by Revanna’s father H.D. Deve Gowda from 1962 for six times before he lost the seat to Puttaswamy Gowda in 1989. As a Janata Dal nominee, Revanna entered the fray in 1994 and polled 47,606 votes while Puttaswamy Gowda of the Congress secured 47, 484 votes. However, Revanna lost the 1999 election to Doddegowda of the Congress returning to retain the seat in 2004, 2008 and 2013.
In the current poll, Revanna is being challenged by Congress nominee B.P. Manje Gowda who is hoping to capitalise on the under currents against the former minister. The contest in Holenarsipur has generated a lot f heat among workers of both parties leading to clashes on a couple of occasions. Though beating Revanna in Holenarsipur is difficult, his rivals assert that Manjegowda will split the Vokkaliga vote. Two Vokkaliga sub-castes, Dasa Vokkaliga and Mullu Vokkaliga, are rivals in the constituency. Manjegowda, a Dasa Vokkaliga and Revanna, a Mullu Vokkaliga, are sure to divide the Vokkaliga votes between them and this split would mean lesser Vokkaliga votes for Revanna. Earlier, both Dasa Vokkaligas and Mullu Vokkaligas voted for Revanna, helping him win. Besides, a section of the minorities are now with the Congress which could make the contest even more difficult for Revanna. But JD(S) sources are confident that voters will remember the development works undertaken by Revanna and back him again.