DK Shivakumar keen on contesting Channapatna bypoll?

Shivakumar visited various temples in the Channapatna constituency and held meetings with Congress workers, apparently to test the waters.
DCM and KPCC president D K Shivakumar who went on a temple run by visiting over fifteen deities at Anjaneyaswamy temple Kengal in Channapanta assembly constituency on Wednesday.
DCM and KPCC president D K Shivakumar who went on a temple run by visiting over fifteen deities at Anjaneyaswamy temple Kengal in Channapanta assembly constituency on Wednesday.Photo | Express

BENGALURU: Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar’s keenness to contest the byelection to the Assembly from Channapatna constituency shows that he has grand plans to re-establish his hold on the region with his brother DK Suresh losing the Bengaluru Rural seat in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Shivakumar, who is also KPCC president, on Wednesday did not rule out fielding Suresh even as the latter recently said that there will be surprise candidates for bypolls in the state. Which means, it would be either Shivakumar or Suresh contesting from Channapatna.

Before leaving for Channapatna, he told reporters in Bengaluru that he may be left with no choice but to contest the bypoll from Channapatna if the party high command and people want. 

“Channapatna is in my heart. It was part of the erstwhile Sathanur Assembly constituency which I represented. My political career actually started from there. The people of Channapatna have been with me in my tough times and I have a debt to repay,” he said.

“There is an opportunity to develop Channapatna the way I have developed Kanakapura. I am visiting the temples in the constituency and discussing with local Congress leaders and voters. I will take a decision on contesting the bypoll from there later,” Shivakumar said.

Shivakumar visited various temples in the Channapatna constituency and held meetings with Congress workers, apparently to test the waters.

Asked about the possibilities of Suresh contesting the bypoll from Channapatna, Shivakumar clarified that it has not been finalised. “I will begin a new chapter in my political career from here,” he said after offering prayers at Anjaneyaswamy temple at Kengal, the hometown of former CM Kengal Hanumanthaiah.

The Channapatna seat fell vacant after former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy of JDS won the Mandya LS seat and became Union Minister for Steel and Heavy Industries. 

According to political analysts, the family of Vokkaliga strongman and former PM HD Deve Gowda is now emerging politically stronger in the region. Gowda’s son-in-law Dr CN Manjunath won the Bengaluru Rural LS seat by defeating Congress’ Suresh. Channapatna is part of Bengaluru Rural LS constituency.

Shivakumar and Suresh, who are also Vokkaligas, want to regain the lost ground by settling scores with the Deve Gowda family at the earliest. In the 2023 Assembly elections, the Congress secured only 16,000 votes in Channapatna. But in the LS elections, it bagged 85,000 votes and this factor is forcing the DK brothers to take a chance in the bypoll.

“By defeating Suresh, the people made me realise that there is something wrong with me. People have made this decision to humble me, which I have realised. I am not going to blame anyone for this. I wish the winner will serve people better than Suresh with a larger heart,” Shivakumar said.

If Shivakumar wins Channapatna seat, he will have to vacate Kanakapura and Suresh may contest from there in the bypoll. Shivakumar, who is keen on becoming CM in future, believes that winning Channapatna or Ramanagara Assembly seats, which are in an “auspicious direction as per Vastu”, will help him become CM. Many leaders who have won from these constituencies have become CMs in the past.

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