Chamarajapet at the heart of Bengaluru city is going to witness David and Goliath fight in the upcoming assembly elections. Three-time MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, now contesting from the Congress, has invited the wrath of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda for defecting to Congress.
Though Zameer Ahmed joined Congress along with six other Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs, Deve Gowda has shown personal interested in Zameer Ahmed's constituency. Zameer Ahmed has been giving provoking statements against former CM HD Kumaraswamy and challenging his secular credentials.
Zameer Ahmed was in Jolly Mohalla of Chamarajapet to meet his supporters and inaugurate campaign vehicle.
Asked about Deve Gowda's recent meeting with BJP corporator in Chamarajapet constituency, Zameer Ahmed sarcastically said, " Since elections were announced Deve Gowda has made Chamarajpet his home. He is often visiting the constituency. I don't understand why. He thinks JDS would get a majority."
Zameer Ahmed told OneIndia, "Deve Gowda is 200 per cent secular. But Kumaraswamy did not inherit this quality. I have seen Kumaraswamy very closely."
Asked about why Deve Gowda did not intervene to resolve the crisis, he said: "Only Deve Gowda can tell the reason for not resolving the crisis between Kumaraswamy and seven rebel JDS leaders."
"When Rahul Gandhi says JDS is B-team of BJP, he didn't make such comment without any information. I don't have to say much about it,"Zameer Ahmed said.
The JDS has fielded another Muslim leader B K Altaf to counter Zameer Ahmed. Altaf was in Congress for over twenty years. Incidentally, Altaf Khan's wife Seema Khanum Congress corporator from Jagjeevanram Nagar.
Zameer Ahmed seemed not perturbed by this development. "BK Altaf is not a new face. He got only 59 votes in 2008 election (Altaf Independent candidate). Deve Gowda thinks he has fielded pailwan (Macho man) against me. I know JDS leaders are not going to Altaf, they are with me."
"I will show who is the real pailwan" he added.
Zameer Ahmed is busy campaigning for Congress in other constituencies. He claimed he has already travelled 58 constituencies. He will be campaigning in Badami for CM Siddaramaiah.
His aide told OneIndia, "JDS used to win because of him, not because of the party. People of all the 7 wards identify Zameer Ahmed. I don't see discontent in the Congress party since he joined the party."
There are 96,000 Muslim votes, 65, 000 votes of SC/ ST, Vokkaliga-11,000, Kuruba-11 500 and OBC has 18,000 votes.
Group of youngsters in Jolly Mohalla said, "Congress party will be a force multiplier for Zameer Ahmed. Besides his charisma, the party name will help a lot. Altaf has gained prominence since he joined JDS, but it doesn't affect Zameer Ahmed's prospects."
"Zameer Ahmed doesn't discriminate on religious grounds We don't see him as a Muslim leader. He will be a stalwart leader in Congress," they said.