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Differences in JDS first family tumble out in open

Express News Service

BENGALURU: It could be JDS’ Achilles heel ahead of the crucial Sira and Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly bypolls. The standoff between siblings and party leaders H D Revanna and H D Kumaraswamy, which is known in intimate political circles for over two decades, came out in the open on Sunday.

At a public rally, Kumaraswamy’s actor-son Nikhil Kumaraswamy, as is customary at such events, listed out all the dignitaries on the dais, crucially leaving out Revanna and MP Prajwal Revanna. In a video that went viral, a furious Revanna supporter is seen climbing on the stage and picking up the mike to utter angry words, when Revanna pacifies him. 

JDS spokesman T A Sharavana said,  “Nikhil later apologised. It was an inadvertent slip and it should not be blown out of proportion.” During the 2018 Assembly elections, Prajwal wanted to contest from Rajarajeshwari Nagar but was prevented, while Nikhil was given the ticket from Mandya, hinting at differences between the two powerful families in the party.

Prajwal was later made to contest the Lok Sabha election from Hassan, which he won and became the sole JDS candidate to emerge victorious in that election from the state. But Nikhil lost. Experts said although Revanna is older, Kumaraswamy took control of the party and became a CM twice, embarrassing the Revanna family. Sunday’s open spat could have an impact on the RR Nagar and Sira bypoll outcome, political experts warned.

Analyst B S Murthy said, “It is public knowledge that after Nikhil lost, both the families blamed each other for the debacle. Also, Kumaraswamy and H D Deve Gowda are uncomfortable with Revanna being close to (Congress leader) Siddaramaiah.”

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