Karnataka bypolls 2018: Gowda family may strengthen dynastic politics
Bengaluru, Oct 9: In September, a high-level delegation from Karnataka led by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek relief for flood-hit seven districts of the state. Kumaraswamy's father, former PM Deve Gowda and brother PWD Minister HD Revanna were part of the delegation. Three Congress ministers were also part of the delegation.
The Hindu quoting a source reported, PM Modi observed, in a lighter vein, that half of the 'delegation comprises of his (Gowda's) family' and Gowda, apparently, chose not to respond. That was the story about the first political family of the state a month ago.
In all likelihood, the Janata Dal (Secular) is going to prove PM Modi's observation right in the upcoming Mandya Lok Sabha and Ramanagar assembly bypolls.
Both Mandya and Ramanagar seats are Vokkaliga dominant constituencies. The party swept all seven Assembly segments in Mandya district in the May elections. Mandya parliamentary seat fell vacant after CS Puttaraju contested in the last assembly elections and Ramanagar was open for the contest after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy chose to represent Chanaapatna seat.
As expected, the party is not taking the trouble to look for candidates for Ramanagar seat as Kumaraswamy has blocked it for wife Anita Kumaraswamy. Only official announcement is awaited. Her candidature as a former MLA and doughtier-in-law of the political family is beyond question among party workers and in the constituency.
However, Mandya has a different story to tell. Contenders are more in number for Mandya Lok Sabha seat. According to reports, Prajwal Revanna, son of H.D. Revanna, IRS officer Lakshmi Ashwin Gowda, former legislator LR Shivarame Gowda are strongly vying for the ticket. Surprisingly, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of HD Kumaraswamy, has come up as a contender.
Amongst them, Prajwal Revanna is eager to make a debut, though Lok Sabha term ends soon. He had missed a chance to contest from Rajarajeshwarinagar in the last assembly elections. He was kept out of the contest by HD Deve Gowda and adhered to party line by saying only two from the family- HD Kumaraswamy and HD Revanna- would contest assembly polls.
Deve Gowda did not buckle under pressure by Prajwal Revanna's supporters to field his grandson.
We can rile about dynastic politics, but it comes handy for patriarchs to justify while selecting candidates. In this election, JDS may toe the same line. JDS could choose either Prajwal or Nikhil by saying preference to other than family members may to lead to discontent among ticket contenders and workers. On this note, party workers can easily be silenced. Therefore, the Appa-Makkalu (father-Son) tag that JDS carries will stay permanently.