Bengaluru North: I am not a "reluctant candidate", says Byre Gowda
Bengaluru, Apr 04: Karnataka Minister for Rural Development Krishna Byre Gowda, who is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Bengaluru-North as a Congress candidate slammed his critics for projecting him as a "reluctant candidate."
"The BJP is expert in planting stories that I am a "reluctant candidate," who is not willing to win. I take such a statement as an insult because contesting elections for theatrics is a sign of self-deception.
"There are leaders and workers in both the parties who trust me. There are people who have reposed faith in me. It will be unfair if I break their trust," Byre Gowda told PTI.
The impression of "reluctant candidate" emerged as theBengaluru-North seat was initially allotted to JD(S) as partof the seat-sharing agreement between the coalition partners-Congress and JD(S).
However, the JD(S) 'gifted' it to the Congress, which further delayed identifying a suitable candidate before zeroing in on Byre Gowda, a minister.
Speculations were rife that some state leaders wanted to send him away from Karnataka and prevent his growth in state politics.
Byre Gowda responded to this speculation, saying, "I have been fielded to contest the election and win a seat. Even if we agree with your argument, it is not easy to get an opportunity in politics. You say that I will be deprived of opportunities, but who knows what is there in store for me.
This could be a break in my career. It can open new avenues for me."
The selection of Byre Gowda came at a time when the coalition government is finding itself in a tight spot in view of the shrinking majority.
Out of 118 MLAs of coalition government, Chincholi Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav recently quit the party to join BJP and contest against Congress heavyweight Mallikarjun Kharge.
On the other hand, Congress' Kundagol MLA C S Shivalli passedaway about a fortnight ago.
Thus, the number has been reduced to 116 seats.
The Congress has fielded two sitting MLAs-Byre Gowda fromBengaluru North and Congress working president Eshwar Khandrefrom Bidar.
While Byre Gowda isthe Byatarayanapura MLA in Bengaluru, Khandre is Bhalki MLA.
If they too win the election, the numbers will reduce furtherto 114 in the Karnataka assembly.
There is already strong dissent brewing in the Congress with the party leadership seeking disqualification of three more MLAs, Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra and Mahesh Kumathalli.
Another MLA J N Ganesh is languishing in jail for the attack onfellow Congress MLA and has openly defied the party'sdirections time and again.
However, Byre Gowda did not see any imminent threat to thecoalition government in the state even if both the MLAs emerged victorious inthe Lok Sabha election.