HASSAN: Mantar Gowda, son of district in-charge and Minister for Animal Husbandry A. Manju, is fighting a tough battle against the JD(S) in the Ramanathapura Zilla Panchayat seat in Arkalgudu in Hassan, considered a stronghold of the Deve Gowda family.
Since the formation of the Zilla Panchayat in 1987, Janata parivar candidates have always won the election in Ramanathapura barring once in 1987 when Ms Tara, wife of A. Manju won the seat as a Congress nominee. A doctor by profession, Mantar Gowda, has entered the electoral fray for the first time. Arkalgudu taluk Congress president Byregowda is confident of Mantar’s win in the election and said, “JD(S) nominees have won in the past in the ZP elections in Ramanathapura seat but the situation has changed due to Mr Manju’s influence since he is the Congress MLA representing Arkalgudu. He is also the district incharge minister.”
The fact that the state is now ruled by the Congress party would also improve the prospects of Mantar, he said. The influence of JD(S) and its national president and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, who now represents the Hassan Lok Sabha seat, has started waning, he claimed.
Though, Mr Manju won the Arkalgudu assembly seat in 2013, the same seat gave a lead to Mr Deve Gowda in the parliamentary election in 2014. Hoping to maintain the winning streak in Ramanathapura seat, JD(S) has fielded Shankar, who was elected to the ZP from the same seat in the previous poll.
Mr Shankar told Deccan Chronicle that the decision to field Mr Mantar Gowda would backfire as some Congress workers were unhappy over his candidature. But Mr Byregowda asserted that there was no discontent among Congress workers.
The JD(S) Hassan unit spokesperson Hongere Raghu said Mr Shankar was given the ticket again considering his clout and the fact that he had stood by the people in times of adversity....