Lok Sabha Election 2019

JD(S) leaders to seek votes for Congress in Mysuru

JD(S) leader and Higher Education Minister G.T. Deve Gowda placating an agitated party worker at a meeting in Mysuru on Friday.

JD(S) leader and Higher Education Minister G.T. Deve Gowda placating an agitated party worker at a meeting in Mysuru on Friday.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

Differences, however, remain among party workers

The simmering discontent in the rank and file of the Janata Dal (Secular) over extending support to the Congress candidate for Mysuru parliamentary constituency, C.H. Vijayashankar, came to the fore at a meeting convened by party leader and Higher Education Minister G.T. Deve Gowda on Friday.

After heated squabbling among workers and party leaders, however, it was resolved to campaign intensively for the Congress.

The meeting of JD(S) workers — mostly drawn from Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency — was convened by party leaders to clear misgivings among them on supporting the Congress and put them on an election mode after Ugadi to uphold the “coalition dharma”.

Feud at the grassroots

That the discontent stems from the prevailing feud between Congress and JD(S) workers at the grassroots despite the air of bonhomie among the leaders, was palpable when disgruntled supporters aired their apprehension of approaching the public to seek votes for the Congress after having worked hard to ensure the latter’s defeat in the Assembly polls last year.

The meeting was also necessitated following Mr. Gowda’s continued reluctance to campaign for the Congress in Mysuru as he preferred touring Mandya and other parts of the State. The issue was also discussed at the highest levels in both the parties following which the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Mr. Gowda agreed to bury their differences and work for their mutual good.

Less than half way through the Friday’s meeting when Marithibbe Gowda, MLC, was speaking, a section of workers expressed their dismay over the arrangement on the grounds that the JD(S) had been slighted by the Congress and it was unthinkable to extend support to it. Though nothing was audible as workers spoke in unison, some of them raised their voice to say that they would rather ask the people to vote for the BJP.

But Mr. Gowda intervened to drive home the point that the Congress had extended unconditional support to their leader H.D. Kumaraswamy and made him the Chief Minister, and hence they were bound to extend their unstinted support to the Congress candidate by “sinking their differences”. The crux of the appeal was as it was the Lok Sabha polls, differences over local issues that dominate during the Assembly elections should be ignored.

Later, Mr. Gowda clarified to workers that he could not take part in the Congress campaign all these days owing to his preoccupation with other programmes outside the district.

JD(S) State president A.H. Vishwanath, MLA for K.R. Nagar and Minister S.R. Mahesh told the workers that it was essential to take the lead in campaign and be focused on elections by setting aside local issues to uphold the larger national interest.

GTD’s remarks flummoxes Congress

Mr. Gowda has bewildered the Congress by stating that he could not be held responsible in case the latter suffered a defeat in the elections in Mysuru parliamentary constituency.

His statement came ahead of a meeting with party workers here on Friday to resolve discontent among the rank and file.

Mr. Gowda has himself displayed displeasure with the Congress by refusing to campaign for its candidate all these days.

The JD(S) has not fielded any candidate in Mysuru as part of a seat-sharing pact with the Congress.

As his statement struck a discordant note, Mr. Gowda clarified that his response was to a specific question whether he could be held responsible in case of the Congress suffering a defeat in Mysuru.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 10:17:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/jds-leaders-to-seek-votes-for-congress-in-mysuru/article26751140.ece

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