Bengaluru: After a shaky start when he had to face howls of protest from disappointed Congressmen, JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, has finally entered calm waters in Tumakuru following a week of hard bargaining by Deputy Chief Minister, Dr G Parameshwar with sparring Congress and JD(S) leaders.
On announcing his choice of constituency, Mr Gowda was confronted with a discontented sitting Lok Sabha MP and fellow Vokkaliga, Muddahanumegowda, who was upset at being replaced by him as the candidate. The talks seem to have calmed ruffled feathers at last.
But with the elections now barely nine days away, he has a lot of work to do over the next week, notes a JD(S) leader from Tumakuru. Mudduhanumegowda enjoyed a personal rapport with the people which contributed to his victory even during the Modi wave in 2014, Mr Deve Gowda is not a local and does not share the same equation with voters. This could bring caste into play in a big way.
Going by these calculations, the JD(S) claims he could win most of the four lakh Vokkaliga votes and all the 1.75 lakh minority votes. The SC/STs too could swing his way, but most believe he could find it near to impossible to win over the Kurubas, Lingayats and Tigalas.
Meanwhile, there were discordant voices from Madhugiri where former Congress MLA, K.N. Rajanna could not succeed in persuading party workers to back Deve Gowda. Mr Rajanna informed them that the high command expected them to campaign for Mr Gowda and participate in a joint rally on Wednesday, but the Congress workers declared they were not ready to work for the JD(S) supremo's victory at any cost....