Swearing by an ideology by day and abjuring it by night is second nature to a section of politicians. And in pursuance of their interest, they switch from one political party to another, avowedly “to serve the public”.
The forthcoming Assembly elections are no different and voters will see familiar candidates mouthing a different viewpoint under a different party flag.
Mysore and surrounding regions have several such leaders who party-hop in quest of ticket or switch loyalty due to difference of opinion, but a few of these leaders are prominent. G.T. Deve Gowda, a staunch ally of Siddaramaiah and H.D. Deve Gowda, was with the Janata Dal (Secular) for a long time. But in the evolving complexities of the State politics, he parted ways with the JD(S) when it appeared to be on a downward spiral in 2008 and the BJP tide was on the rise.
He hopped on to the BJP bandwagon, contested from Hunsur and was thrashed in the elections, but was rewarded for his timely switch as he was made chairman of the Karnataka Housing Board.
Five years on, with the BJP on the back foot and its image dented by scams, Mr. G.T. Deve Gowda rediscovered the virtues of the JD(S), made some backroom manoeuvres and announced his “homecoming” at a massive public rally held in Mysore. But his political detractors in the JD(S) are keen that he be fielded from any constituency but Hunsur.
Parimala Nagappa got into politics after her husband, H. Nagappa, a former Minister, was abducted and killed by forest brigand Veerappan in 2002. She was elected from the Hanur Assembly constituency in 2004 on JD(S) ticket. By 2008, she had fallen out with JD(S) leaders, sought re-election on BSP ticket, but lost the polls.
More recently, she hobnobbed with the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) with the hope of getting ticket to contest the forthcoming elections. However, she is now back in the JD(S) after being promised the coveted B form to contest from Hanur again.
H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda has the distinction of winning four consecutive times from the Chamaraja Assembly constituency on a BJP ticket. But though in the BJP, he remained aloof and was out of the party’s inner circles for long and snubbed the then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa by refusing to meet him at his residence here when the latter came calling.
He hobnobbed with the JD(S) while in the BJP and was among the “rebels” who almost destabilised the State government. He has finally quit the BJP and is set to join the JD(S) hoping to get ticket to contest from the Chamaraja segment.
The former MLA E. Marutirao Pawar is another politician who has been in and out of the BJP. First elected from the Narasimharaja constituency in 1994, he contested on JD(S) ticket in 2004 only to lose the election. He is with the BJP since 2008 and is a ticket aspirant from the Narasimharaja segment.