TUMAKURU: Congress MP from Tumkur S P Muddahanume Gowda is the only incumbent MP to give up his seat for the JD(S)-Congress coalition. The veteran leader, who unsuccessfully contested the 2009 LS polls on JD(S) ticket from Tumakuru, never showed an iota of rebellion whenever he missed on tickets. He had missed the JD(S) ticket in 2013 assembly polls and was brought back by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara to contest the 2014 LS polls, which he won. However, this time around he is not too happy about not being given a ticket and plans to contest against Deve Gowda as a Congress candidate. Excerpts
Till recently, you were saying that you will concede if H D Deve Gowda wants to contest from Tumakuru?
Yes, I had said that I may concede Tumakuru. I showed my magnanimity despite being a sitting MP, which they took for granted and as my weakness. They did not show the magnanimity of leaving the seat for me even though I am an MP with credibility to back me.
Why do you think you missed out on a ticket?
I did not know why I missed out when all our MPs were given a chance to contest again. I want an answer from the party leaders about why I was made to sacrifice when I have performed well as an MP. I even compromised on my personal life for the constituency. If I was corrupt and lazy, I would not have felt bad about leaving the seat.
Won’t you tread the path of alliance ‘dharma’?
Is it fair to deceive a sitting MP, attributing it to the alliance principle?
What is your plan now?
I have enormous sympathy in the entire constituency and I will capitalise on it and win.
Are you serious about remaining in the fray?
I am not joking. i am contesting for certain and the party high command still has a chance to declare me as an alliance candidate.
Both Gowda and your vote base is the same.
But I have supporters and voters cutting across caste and creed as the people of the constituency knew me well.
Will DCM and Siddaramaiah support your candidature?
I will seek their support. I will not place Parameshwara in an embarrassing situation as he too had tried his best. Siddaramaiah had also helped me in my pursuit to get the seat.
What are your demands? MLC or ministerial berth?
My only demand is to reconsider my candidature and provide me with an opportunity to contest. I will not settle for trivial offers as my voters hold me in high esteem as a leader with integrity. I have responded to many issues related to farmers and raised voice in the Parliament as their representative. Even the likes of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge know about me.