Janata Dal (Secular) is likely to field Nikhil Kumaraswamy, the son of Karnataka Chief Minister (CM) HD Kumaraswamy from Mandya Lok Sabha seat, and Prajwal Revanna, son of the Chief Minister’s brother and state PWD minister, HD Revanna, from Hassan Lok Sabha seat, The New Indian Express reported.
The decision was taken by the former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo HD Deve Gowda.
Speaking to the media in Mangaluru, Deve Gowda said, "Along with Nikhil Kumar, Prajwal Revanna is also likely to contest the upcoming elections from Hassan constituency. Both are entering politics according to the wishes of the people. I will not oppose it."
Defending himself against charges of ‘dynastic politics’, Kumaraswamy said in Shivamogga that there was nothing wrong if politicians’ children joined politics and claimed that it was similar to how children of IAS officers followed in their parents’ footsteps. He also confirmed that Nikhil had expressed his willingness to contest from Mandya, which “will be left to a JD(S) candidate”.
Prajwal had nursed the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly constituency hoping that he can persuade his grandfather to field him from that seat during the state Assembly election last year (2018). Prajwal was also aspiring for a party ticket from Hunsur Assembly constituency, but the party high command (his grandfather) decided to field senior leader A H Vishwanath, who had defected from the Congress. Deve Gowda has now decided to go ahead with the idea to to field him for the Lok Sabha election.
JD-S was also toying with the idea of fielding Nikhil from Mysuru given the prospects of Sumalatha Ambareesh joining the fray. The idea to field the Gowda scion from Mysuru seat came under fierce Opposition from senior Congress leader and former state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Siddaramaiah is said to be in favour of allocating the seat to fellow Kuruba C H Vijayashankar, a BJP MP and state minister, who defected to the Congress.
Nikhil, who has thus far been pursuing an acting career in the Kannada film industry, sounded confident of winning from Mandya. He said, “Firstly, all eight assembly segments have JD(S) MLAs and secondly since we are in a coalition government, there is additional Congress support for my candidature. Thirdly, my father and Chief Minister Kumaraswamy’s connect with the people of Mandya is very good.”
Kumaraswamy’s wife Anita is a member of the legislative Assembly. She was elected from Ramanagara seat in a by-election after it fell vacant after her husband preferred to retain Chennapatna, the other constituency from where he had won in the Assembly election in May.
Deve Gowda, who is the sitting MP from Hassan, might enter the fray from Bengaluru (north) constituency as caste arithmetic could be favourable to him.
The Congress - JD(S) coordination committee is unlikely to resolve the contentious issue of seat sharing for Lok Sabha elections as JD-S continues to insist on allocating 12 constituencies.
Political observers in the state are of the view that deadlocked will resolved possibly in a one-to-one meeting between Deve Gowda and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
JD(S) is likely to settle for eight or nine seats including Hassan, Mandya, Shivamogga, Bengaluru (north), Bangalore (Rural) and Vijayapura Lok Sabha constituencies.
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