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Karnataka polls: H D Deve Gowda has to retain Vokkaliga home turf

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch H D Deve Gowda and his son, former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, are pulling out all the stops in Sira and R R Nagar, which have a sizeable Vokkaliga community presence, to ensure the victory of the party’s candidates. After losing KR Nagar, which is also Vokkaliga turf, they do not want to lose Sira.

The 87-year-old former PM has been leading from the front, campaigning hard with a battery of JDS leaders. Party MP Prajwal Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy too are raising the campaign heat. 

In the previous bypolls to 15 Assembly seats, the JDS did not win a single seat and is keen to retain Sira. For the party workers on the ground, MLA B Sathyanarayana’s death came as a huge blow, and it will be embarrassing for the party if they cannot win it back.

In the last parliamentary polls too, the JDS could manage only the Hassan seat where Prajwal Revanna won. Deve Gowda himself had to taste defeat in Tumakuru. In June this year, Gowda was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka with the support of the zCongress in the biennial elections held for four seats that fell vacant after the previous members’ terms ended on June 25.

The party, which had a strength of 37 members in the Assembly, saw its number drop to 34 after three MLAs switched sides.

Kumaraswamy had been cut-up with Siddaramaiah ever since the coalition government, headed by him, lost majority on the floor of the House last year, with as many as 17 legislators from both parties deciding to resign and cross over to the BJP. Congress leader Siddaramaiah had also openly opposed the idea of joining hands with the JD(S) for the November 3 by-elections to the two Assembly seats.

  • JDS leadership doing all it can to secure Sira and R R Nagar seats, which have sizeable Vokkaliga presence
  • With not a single win in the previous bypolls to 15 seats, JDS keen to retain Sira
  • Bypoll in Sira necessitated after demise of MLA B Sathyanarayana due to Covid-19

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