After weeks of speculation, JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda had announced his decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Tumkur in Karnataka against BJP’s GS Basavaraj. He had earlier expressed doubts about contesting the polls.
Gowda who is the incumbent MP from the Hassan Lok Sabha seat, gave it to his grandson Prajwal Revanna and chose Tumkur over the Bangalore North seat.
Hassan has remained unflinchingly loyal to JD(S) since 1991, barring the 1999 elections where Gowda lost to former minister G Puttaswamy Gowda (Congress) by over 1.47 lakh votes. This was soon after he stepped down as prime minister.
The JD(S) patriarch said he is contesting from Tumkur on the demand of many Congress and JD(S) leaders, according to NDTV.
Gowda said, “I have worked as a Lok Sabha MP for 29 years, that’s why I had said I won’t contest elections”.
But “Farooq Abdullah, Mamata Banerjee, Ghulam Nabi Azad and many leaders, including my friends, suggested that I contest,” he was quoted as saying in the NDTV report.
Tumkur was allotted to JD(S) as part of an alliance arrangement between the two partners.
It was a Congress stronghold from 1952 to 1989, till it lost ground to the BJP.
Tumkur comes under old Mysuru region, where the Vokkaliga community, seen as a strong vote bank of the JD(S), is dominant. Congress too has considerable presence there.
State BJP president BS Yeddyurappa, according to The Indian Express, thinks Tumkur will be a tough fight.
(With PTI inputs)