Mandya Lok Sabha Seat Sees Battle Between Kumaraswamy and Congress Newcomer

Former CM Kumaraswamy faces businessman Venkataramane Gowda in keenly contested Mandya parliamentary election amid shifting political alliances

Bengaluru: While Congress nominee Venkataramane Gowda, a businessman, is trying his luck in electoral politics for the maiden time and in the contest he is up against two-time Chief Minister and State Unit president of Janata Dal Secular (JDS) H.D. Kumaraswamy in the Mandya parliamentary seat. Kumaraswamy is the consensus nominee of Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal Secular (JDS). Mandya is among 14 Lok Sabha seats going for voting on Friday in Karnataka.

In the previous parliamentary elections in Mandya, there has been a straight between Janata Dal Secular and Congress party nominees. In the 2019 election, independent nominee Sumalatha Ambareesh, wife of late cine actor and former minister Ambareesh won the Mandya Lok Sabha seat against Nikhil, son of former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who was then JDS and Congress consensus nominee. Later, Sumalata extended her support to BJP and a fortnight back she joined the BJP.

Sumalatha, an aspirant to contest Mandya Lok Sabha seat on BJP ticket had to opt out of the contest after JDS succeeded in bagging Mandya seat as per the seat sharing agreement between JDS and BJP.

H.D. Kumaraswamy

After sacrificing the seat for JDS in 2019, Congress party has fielded businessman Venkataramane Gowda to make a comeback in the Mandya Lok Sabha seat. In 2014, JDS nominee C.S. Puttaraju won the Mandya Lok Sabha seat and later in 2018 Mandya bye-poll, JDS nominee Shivarame Gowda won the seat.

Kumaraswamy, incumbent MLA representing Channapatna Assembly seat, is in the contest from Mandya and he stated that he entered the contest from Mandya owing to insistence of local leaders of Mandya and love of the people. It is said that Kumaraswamy’s contest from Mandya is aimed to revive sulking image of JDS in Old Mysuru region where the party was once strong in Karnataka while sources in JDS, Mandya Unit stated that Kumaraswamy is keen on winning Mandya seat to avenge the defeat of his son Nikhil in 2019 election.

Fortunes have changed in the Old Mysuru region where Congress party had come back strongly winning Legislative Council election (local bodies) through its nominee Dinesh Gooligowda. In the 2023 Assembly election, Congress won in 6 seats of Mandya Lok Sabha constituency while Melukote Assembly seat was won by Raitha Sangha nominee Darshan Puttannaiah backed by the Congress party. JDS managed to win Krishnaraja Pete Assembly seat.

On the contest of Kumaraswamy from Mandya, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Kumaraswamy could have opted to contest Bengaluru Rural seat in the Lok Sabha election but he migrated to Mandya seat fearing that he would lose Bengaluru Rural seat.

While, his deputy D.K. Shivakumar in his election rally termed Kumaraswamy as an ‘outsider’ to Mandya and that the people of Mandya have never voted an ‘outsider’ to power. Shivakumar stated that Mandya people are known for their self-respect and would cast their votes for Congress nominee who belongs to Nagamangala taluk of Mandya district.

During his election campaign in Mandya seat, Kumaraswamy accused that persons who made money through short cuts have held the reins of Mandya and if voted he assured to put an end to such elements. He assured to groom leaders with service motive.

The Mandya JDS nominee stated that the contributions of his father and former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda is well known to the people of Mandya and his contributions as well to get elected from Mandya.

Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh hasn’t joined the campaigning of Kumaraswamy but she stated that her supporters are at work for the JDS-BJP nominee.

There are about 17 lakh voters in the Mandya Lok Sabha seat and majority of the voters in the seat belong to the Vokkaliga community. Both Venkataramane Gowda and Kumaraswamy belong to the Vokkaliga community.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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