Old rivalry between Deve Gowda and D.K. Shivakumar likely to surface in Bangalore Rural

The battle for the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha seat is more than an electoral contest for the Janata Dal (Secular). It will be an out-and-out effort to regain its lost hold on the constituency and an opportunity to avenge the defeat of a family member in a recent election held there.

Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, was humbled by Congress candidate D.K. Suresh, brother of Minister for Energy D.K. Shivakumar, in the byelection for the seat in 2013.

The Congress has since established control over the constituency, which was once a citadel of the JD(S). It is said that neither Ms. Anitha Kumaraswamy nor Mr. Kumaraswamy are inclined to contest the coming elections.

Considering the nearly 15-year-old political rivalry between the family of the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and that of Mr. Shivakumar, the coming election will be a crucial battle for the two powerful political families. According to a recent pre-election survey, though a triangular contest is on the cards in the constituency, it is expected to be more of a face-off between the Congress and the JD(S).

While the Congress has decided to field Mr. Suresh, the JD(S) is yet to decide its candidate. In the fight between the two high-profile families, the Bharatiya Janata Party is planning to field president of the party’s Yuva Morcha Muniraju.

It is said that Mr. Gowda is interested in contesting from Hassan this time also rather than Bangalore Rural, which was the constituency that gave him political rebirth. This constituency, carved out after the delimitation of constituencies in 2008 (earlier a part of Kanakapura), had enabled Mr. Gowda to emerge out of political hibernation in 2002 (byelection). A section of the leaders, however, are of the opinion that his candidature from Bangalore Rural would help the party significantly in the Vokkaliga belt. “We will field a “powerful” candidate from Bangalore Rural as our chances are bright,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said.

Mr. Suresh (Congress) won in the byelection because of the support that he received from C.P. Yogeshwar of the Samajwadi Party. Now it is said that Mr. Yogeshwar is keen on supporting the JD(S) if Mr. Gowda contests from this constituency.

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