BANGALORE: “Though nasty, people still have some liking for dynasty,” was the quick repartee of BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu, when asked what he thought was the strength of the Congress party. The JD (S) seems to have taken Naidu’s remark rather seriously, by planning to bring in Nikhil Gowda, son of former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and grandson of H D Deve Gowda into the party fold. Both Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy were quick to deny Nikhil’s entry as a conscious effort to keep the reins of the party within the family.
Speaking to The Sunday Standard from Jindal Nature Cure Hospital, JD (S) state president Kumaraswamy said that the party was built by thousands of leaders and workers through several decades of hard work, and neither he, nor his father will have any role in bringing Nikhil to politics. “He’s free to do anything he feels right. I’ve nothing to say,” he said, adding, “It’s the workers who are forcing Nikhil to join. As parents, neither me nor my wife Anita will take a call.”
But what let the cat out of the bag was what he added afterwards: “Nikhil won’t be given any post by the virtue of his family background. He’ll have to come up the ladder.” This made Nikhil’s entry into the party almost certain.
Twenty-four-year-old Nikhil is an MBA, currently looking after the administration of Kasturi TV, owned by his mother Anita Kumaraswamy, who is also the JD (S) MLA from Koratagere in Tumkur district.
Gowda refused to comment, saying, “Anyone who believes in the principles and policies of JD (S) can join. We expect them to be sensitive to the problems of the people, especially peasants and weaker sections, and be secular in outlook. If Nikhil joins JD (S), he’ll be one among thousands of workers. ”
If Nikhil joins the JD (S), he’ll be the fifth Gowda to enter politics. While grandpa H Deve Gowda and father Kumaraswamy are MPs representing Hassan and Bangalore Rural respectively, uncle H D Revanna and mother Anita are MLAs representing Holenarsipur and Koratagere Assembly constituencies respectively. Gowda has two other sons, H D Balakrishne Gowda, a retired civil servant, and H D Ramesh, a doctor.