Bengaluru: Amid speculation that JD(S) supremo Mr H.D. Deve Gowda is set to contest from Bengaluru North Lok Sabha constituency instead of Hassan, the traditional JD(S) bastion, the former PM seems to have decided on an altogether different constituency—Mysuru-Kodagu.
According to party sources, Mr Gowda is likely to contest from either Mysuru-Kodagu or Tumakuru but the final decision will be known only on March 5, when he and AICC President Mr Rahul Gandhi announce the seat sharing matrix between the Congress and JD(S) in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, JD(S) sources confirmed that two grandchildren of Mr Deve Gowda – Prajwal Revanna (Hassan) and Nikhil Kumaraswamy (Mandya) would be contesting the Lok Sabha polls. However, owing to several reasons, the JD(S) may concede the Bengaluru North seat to the Congress, sources said.
In the first place, Union Minister Mr D.V. Sadananda Gowda, who was reluctant to contest from Bengaluru North this time, has been asked by the BJP to seek re-election from the same constituency. Mr Sadananda Gowda shares a good relationship with the Deve Gowda family.
The second problem is that, though Bengaluru North has a substantial number of Vokkaliga votes plus minority community votes which might help Mr Gowda, the national scenario has made the JD(S) doubtful about its prospects in an urban centric seat particularly after the Pulwama terror attack and the IAF response which may have a deep impact on urban voters. With the political prospects of each of the major players in Karnataka—Congress, JD(S) and BJP— likely to undergo dramatic changes as election day approached, the party does not want to take a risk by making Mr Gowda contest from Bengaluru North, said sources.
However, the JD(S) has a strong presence both in Mysuru and Tumakuru. Intelligence reports have reportedly pointed out that Tumakuru is a better constituency for Mr Gowda but he is more inclined to contest from Mysuru, as it would serve as a link between Hassan and Mandya. Both his grand children are set to contest from the two neighbouring constituencies. The Mysuru-Kodagu constituency is dominated by the BJP but since there could be a direct fight between the Congress-JD(S) candidate and the BJP this time, it would be easier for the coalition candidate to sail through, said sources....