With revenge on his mind, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda may contest the Lok Sabha elections from Bangalore Rural against his bete noire D K Shivakumar’s brother D K Suresh, insiders say.
JD(S) sources told Express on Monday that Gowda is mulling the option to avenge his “favourite” daughter-in-law Anitha Kumaraswamy’s drubbing at the hands of Suresh in the LS byelection from the Vokkaliga stronghold. The constituency was earlier represented by Gowda’s son and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, who resigned after getting elected to the Assembly from Ramanagaram.
Asked whether he would contest from Bangalore Rural, Gowda neither denied nor confirmed the speculation.
“People of Hassan have been a blessing me for the last five-and-a-half decades. Even people in Bangalore Rural have blessed me in the past,” he said.
When probed further, Gowda said he might not even contest the LS polls as he needs to tour the state and focus on ensuring JD(S) wins maximum number of seats.
“I cannot spend time in one particular constituency. I need to travel and campaign across the state,” he said. Gowda, however, hastened to add that he would contest if people in the constituency took care of his campaign and didn’t insist that he canvass for himself.
Shivakumar, Power Minister in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government, was also instrumental in Gowda’s defeat in Bangalore Rural in the past.
Meanwhile, the JD(S) is said to be focusing on a few of its pocket boroughs in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. According to sources, the party besides giving emphasis in its strongholds in the Old Mysore region — Mysore, Mandya, Bangalore Rural, Hassan, Chikballapur, Tumkur and Kolar — is also said to be keen on focussing on Shimoga, Uttara Kannada, Bijapur, Raichur and Chitradurga.
Shivarajkumar’s Wife from Shimoga?
Meanwhile, a top JD(S) leader said the party was actively considering to field former chief minister late S Bangarappa’s daughter Geetha Shivarajkumar, wife of actor Shivarajkumar.
When contacted, JD(S) youth president and Sorab MLA Madhu Bangarappa said he has offered the party to make one of the family members, including Shakuntala Bangarappa, daughter Sujatha Tilak Kumar, Geetha Shivarajkumar or himself, contest the polls. The party, however, is said to be keen on Geetha as she had actively campaigned in the 2013 Assembly polls besides being wife of Shivarajkumar. Madhu, however, maintained that a final decision will be taken at a convention of followers and admirers of late Bangarappa to be held in Sorab in about a fortnight. “We will abide by the decision at the convention,” he said.
Shivarajkumar, who has been away from politics like his father late Rajkumar, however, is said to have given his consent to his wife entering the electoral battle. “After all, she comes from a political family and there is nothing wrong in her contesting,” a source close to Shivarajkumar said, quoting the actor.