Former Kanataka MLA AH Vishwanath (File Photo | EPS)
Former Kanataka MLA AH Vishwanath (File Photo | EPS)

Hunsur bypoll ticket goes to ex-JDS Karnataka chief AH Vishwanath

Earlier, former coalition minister GT Devegowda and BJP leader CP Yogeshwar had shadow lobbied heavily for the bypoll ticket.

MYSURU: Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, going by the BJP rulebook and having got the core committee’s nod, gave the Hunsur ticket to former JDS President AH Vishwanath, putting an end to shadow lobbying by former coalition minister GT Devegowda and BJP leader CP Yogeshwar.

The BJP rewarded Vishwanath, who led the team of disgruntled MLAs and played a vital role in the collapse of the coalition government.But while Vishwanath was busy with the disqualification case, Devegowda had started building a rapport with BJP leaders, and started the spadework for his son Harish Gowda’s entry into electoral politics from Hunsur.

Though Devegowda had maintained that neither Harish nor anyone else from his family would contest from Hunsur, he had also prevailed on Vokkaliga leaders in the BJP for the ticket. Some had suggested that Vishwanath be made MLC and minister, while a few had even projected that it would be difficult for Vishwanath to get the Vokkaliga vote, citing health reasons.

On the other hand, former minister CP Yogeshwar, who played a key role in keeping the dissident MLAs together and moving them to Mumbai, had also set his eye on Hunsur.

Yogeshwar wanted to throw his hat into the ring if the verdict had barred the rebel MLAs from contesting elections. He had quietly camped in Mysuru and held meetings with Vokkaliga and other prominent leaders in Hunsur, projecting himself as the candidate. He also managed to win over a few local leaders and ministers, who pitched for either Harish Gowda or Yogeshwar.

However, Vishwanath argued that he had sacrificed his seat and also faced humiliation in public from detractors. He claimed that the Kuruba community would rally solidly behind him, and the proposal to make Hunsur a district would pay him rich dividends.

Prasad in core team

The BJP appointed senior Dalit leader V Srinivasa Prasad in charge of Hunsur constituency, along with minister B Sriramulu, MP Prathap Simha and former MP CH Vijayshankar, with an eye on Dalit votes.

The New Indian Express