BENGALURU: After handing over Hassan to his grandson Prajwal Revanna, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda is now looking for a safe constituency to contest the Lok Sabha elections. He is said to be considering contesting either from Bengaluru North or Tumakuru.
JD(S) managed to get the constituencies from its coalition partner Congress in the seat-sharing arrangement announced on Wednesday.
Sources said Bengaluru North is not a safe seat for the former PM and he may opt for Tumakuru. “It will be Bengaluru North or Tumakuru. As of now, no decision has been taken,” a source in the JD(S) said.
Party leaders, however, are confident that he will win from any of these two seats. “People want him to contest from Bengaluru North and he will win 100 per cent,” said Manjunatha R, JD(S) MLA from Dasarahalli assembly segment, which is part of Bengaluru North Lok Sabha seat. “Given his stature as the former PM, voters cutting across party affiliations will vote for him. That is the view of voters in the constituency,” he added.
While JD(S) seems to be depending on a significant number of Vokkaliga and minority voters in the constituency, analysts say it is not a safe seat for Gowda. Of the eight assembly segments, Congress holds five, JD(S) two and one is represented by BJP. If Gowda decides to contest from Bengaluru North, he will be depending heavily on Congress to ensure his victory.
“It will be difficult for Gowda in Bengaluru North. BJP candidate Sadananda Gowda won because of the Modi wave, not because of Vokkaliga votes. Also, Vokkaliga voters in the city are not JD(S) followers like in the case of Mandya or Hassan,” said political analyst Mohan Ram.
“The constituency consists of huge number of outsiders, who may not prefer JD(S),” he added. According to him, Tumakuru seat may be much better given the JD(S) presence in the district. Of eight assembly segments in Tumakuru, JD(S) represents three, BJP four and Congress one constituency.
Political analyst Prof Kiran Gajanur concurs with Mohan Ram. “Deve Gowda may be a popular leader in the state, but JD(S) lacks booth level base in the constituency and it may be a difficult game if he decides to contest from Bengaluru North,” he said.
According to him, JD(S)’ caste narrative will not work in the state capital unlike in rural areas. “Time is too short for JD(S) to prepare the ground for Gowda. However, we do not know what their strategies are,” he added.
Senior BJP leader and Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has started the election work and is confident of winning from the constituency despite a not-so-impressive performance by BJP in the 2018 assembly elections. Like in 2014 LS polls, BJP is banking on the Modi-factor. In 2014, BJP had secured 7,18,326 votes, Congress 4,88,562 and JD(S) got 92,681.