Tumakuru: After more than a decade of rivalry and much bitterness, former chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Wednesday joined former PM and national president of the JD(S) H.D. Deve Gowda in Tiptur, Chikkanayakanahalli and Madhugiri taluks in Tumakuru from where Mr Gowda is contesting the Lok Sabha poll.
Mr Siddaramaiah was a close associate of Mr Deve Gowda when they were in the Janata Dal and later in the JD(S) but the former parted ways with his mentor and joined the Congress party in 2006. Ever since he quit the JD(S), apparently upset over the party supremo’s preferential treatment for his son H.D. Kumaraswamy, Mr Siddaramaiah had targeted Mr Deve Gowda and more so during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Hassan. Hitting back, Mr Gowda had accused Mr Siddaramaiah of not being a champion of the backward classes like late CM D. Devraj Urs.
All that was forgotten as Mr Siddaramaiah campaigned in Tiptur and derided rumours that he had directed voters of backward classes to refrain from casting votes for the JD(S)-Congress nominees. “It is because of these rumours that I have undertaken a joint campaign with Mr Deve Gowda,” asserted Mr Siddaramaiah adding that he will jointly campaign with Mr Gowda in Mandya and Mysuru too.
The former CM was also all praise for Mr Deve Gowda, saying he had strived hard for protecting the territory and water resources of the state in his political career spanning 60 years. Deve Gowda was responsible for sanctioning funds for the Cauvery and Kabini irrigation projects, he recalled adding that when Mr Gowda was the PM, all pending irrigation projects got adequate funds for their completion.
Meanwhile, two dissidents Congress leaders – sitting Tumakuru MP Muddahanume Gowda and former Madhugiri MLA K.N. Rajanna- who were upset over the candidature of Mr Deve Gowda from Tumakuru, joined him during the campaign at Madhugiri. Both Rajanna and Muddahanume Gowda had filed their papers as rebels and later withdrew from the fray. Mr Siddaramaiah is said to have pacified them.
Later, Mr Deve Gowda said he would support the demand of Mr Rajanna that a separate district of Madhugiri be carved out of Tumakuru....