Bengaluru: It does not appear to be smooth sailing for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency in the coming Assembly polls as both the BJP and Janata Dal (Secular) leaders are drawing up strategies to “teach him a lesson”.
As the chief minister has started discussions with leaders of various communities from the Chamundeshwari constituency, JD(S) leaders like former MP A.H. Vishwanath and MLA G.T. Deve Gowda have reportedly gone to former minister V. Srinivasaprasad’s to seek his support to defeat Mr Siddaramaiah, who has decided to vacate his present constituency — Varuna — for his son Dr Yatindra Siddaramaiah. The situation is akin to 2006 when both the JD(S) and BJP came together to defeat Mr Siddaramaiah in a high-decibel by-election to the Chamundeshwari constituency after he resigned from his membership to join the Congress. At that time, Mr Siddaramaiah won by just 250-plus votes, thanks to the support of Mr Srinivasaprasad and Mr Vishwanath, who transferred their traditional Congress votes in his favour. But things have changed and the CM is heavily banking on his own charisma to win the seat.
Mr Mahadeva Prakash, a political analyst, told Deccan Chronicle that Mr Siddaramaiah is learnt to have sent feelers to the sitting JD(S) MLA from the constituency, G.T. Deve Gowda, to join the Congress by promising him a ticket from another constituency in Mysuru district and also a cabinet minister’s post. The reason is simple. Mr Siddaramaiah has not visited the Chamundeshwari constituency since 2006 and has lost touch with the voters, while Mr Deve Gowda, who won from the constituency for the third consecutive time, enjoys the support of Vokkaliga and Nayak community voters. Besides, there is a large chunk of Lingayats who are angry with Mr Siddaramaiah for dividing the community by supporting the separate religion and minority status demands.
As of now, Mr G.T. Deve Gowda has not made up his mind to join the Congress because of his loyalty to JD(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda and state party president H.D. Kumaraswamy, as he got a ticket from the party after quitting the BJP during the previous election.
Mr Prakash said that even if Mr G.T. Deve Gowda joins the Congress, the JD(S) may not hesitate to field Mr Prajwal Revanna, son of former minister and Holenarasipur MLA H.D. Revanna. Prajwal wanted to contest from the Hunsur constituency, but that did not materialise as his grandfather decided to give the ticket to former MP Vishwanath.
“No one can underestimate the growing popularity of Prajwal, thanks to his oratory skills. Vokkaliga leaders too are behind his candidature. It will be a tough fight if Prajwal is fielded against Mr Siddaramaiah from Chamundeshwari.”
It is said that the Kuruba community too is not happy with Mr Siddaramaiah's decision not to support Mr Vishwanath in the Hunsur constituency. They feel that Mr Vishwanath is senior to Mr Siddaramaiah and got elected as MLA even before Mr Siddramaiah entered politics.
Also, Mr H.D. Deve Gowda is slowly garnering the support of his community to make Mr Kumaraswamy the next CM. This should worry Mr Siddaramaiah as he has to get the support of Lingayats, Vokkaligas, Nayaks and Kurubas to win the election.
The Nayak community is strongly behind MLA Chikkamadu from H.D. Kote. The Chamundeshwari constituency too has a sizeable number of Dalit voters and Mr Srinivasaprasad is likely to campaign against Mr Siddaramaiah as a revenge for his defeat in the Nanjangud by-election.
It will be an uphill task for Mr Siddaramaiah if the troika of Mr Srinivasaprasad, Mr G.T. Deve Gowda and Mr H. Vishwanath join hands to teach him a lesson....