Karnataka

Campaign against Puttaraju

A poster thanking veteran JD(S) leaders in Mandya.

A poster thanking veteran JD(S) leaders in Mandya.

Days after the results in Mandya Lok Sabha constituency were announced, an online campaign against the Minor Irrigation Minister C.S. Puttaraju has been launched to urge him to retire from active politics by holding him accountable for the poor results of K. Nikhil.

Mr. Puttaraju, who is also district in-charge of Mandya, had monitored the electioneering for Mr. Nikhil, son of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, in the April 18 held Lok Sabha elections. Nevertheless, the JD(S) nominee lost against Sumalatha, wife of the late actor-politician M.H. Ambareesh.

Ms. Sumalatha was backed by the BJP and Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS). She also got enormous electoral support from disgruntled Congress and JD(S) leaders and workers across the constituency. She trounced Mr. Nikhil by 1,25,876 votes.

Ms. Sumalatha secured 7,03,660 votes, while Mr. Nikhil 5,77,784 votes in the election.

Mr. Puttaraju, the veteran JD(S) leader, had expressed confidence of Mr. Nikhil winning by a margin of at least 2.5 lakh. Further, he had announced that he would take ‘political sanyasatva’ (retirement from active politics) if the winning margin [for Mr. Nikhil] was less than 2.5 lakh.

Ms. Sumalatha’s supporters, extremely anguished by the JD(S) leaders’ disparaging remarks about Ms. Sumalatha, have now launched the ‘Take Political Sanyasatva Puttaraju’ campaign. Hundreds of supporters, even staunch supporters of JD(S), have been creating and sharing memes on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media asking Mr. Puttaraju when he will announce political retirement.

Mr. Nikhil badly lost in the elections. Hence, Mr. Puttaraju should abide by his own words, Sharan, a die-hard fan of Ambareesh, in Maddur, told The Hindu. JD(S) workers Shyamala and Kavana, from Pandavapura, said they had received nearly 20 memes since Thursday evening and had forwarded them to at least 460 people . A senior KRRS leader said that hundreds of KRRS workers also launched similar campaigns on social media.

Meanwhile, some of Ms. Sumalatha’s supporters have put up a poster on 100 Ft. Road here thanking veteran JD(S) leaders Transport Minister D.C. Thammanna, MLC K.T. Srikante Gowda and previous MP L.R. Shivarame Gowda – for ‘helping her win’. The trio insulted the newly-elected MP during electioneering with their remarks.

‘Go Back Nikhil’

‘Go Back Nikhil’, an online campaign, was launched before the elections in the district to oppose the candidacy of Mr. Nikhil. A good number of JD(S), Congress, BJP and KRRS workers had actively participated in the campaign to condemn ‘dynastic politics’ of Mr. Gowda’s family. That had significantly helped Ms. Sumalatha increase her votes in the constituency.


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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 12:29:59 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/campaign-against-puttaraju/article27249558.ece