Tumakuru: That workers of the coalition partners, JD(S) and Congress are at best reluctant comrades in Tumakuru was evident on Monday when JD(S) supremo, H.D. Deve Gowda arrived at the Pattanayakanahalli Matha in Sira to offer prayers for his electoral success.
He was accompanied by JD(S) MLA, Satyanarayana and former Congress minister, T.B. Jayachandra but the two men did not bother to exchange pleasantries.
Long time rivals, they had contested against each other in the Sira assembly segment in 2008, 2013 and in 2018, when Satyanarayana beat Jayachandra in a close finish. Their supporters too, who assembled at the Matha, kept a distance from each another. It remains to be seen if this fierce rivalry, so evident in each Assembly segment in the district, will mar the prospects of the former PM. In fact Tumakuru MP Muddahanumegowda had threatened to turn a rebel and contest but later fell in line and withdrew from the fray.
At the Matha, Deve Gowda participated in rituals which seem to have been conducted to curry favour with the influential Kunchitiga community. Their support is vital for any candidate and more so for Gowda, a Vokkaliga, who has migrated from Hassan to Tumakuru.
Later, Jayachandra issued a fresh appeal to Congress workers to work for Gowda's success, recalling his huge contribution in getting Tumakuru water from the Hemavathy reservoir. However, JD(S) and Congress workers remain unwilling to work together in all seven constituencies from where the JD(S) is standing, particularly Tumakuru, Hassan, Mandya and Shivamogga, which could see the BJP augment its numbers....