Giant-killing act in Chamundeshwari, and a political rebirth in Hunsur

G.T. Deve Gowda soundly beats Siddaramaiah; Hunsur votes for JD(S) leader A.H. Vishwanath

Updated - May 15, 2018 10:23 pm IST

Published - May 15, 2018 10:20 pm IST - MYSURU

G.T. Deve Gowda of the JD(S), who defeated outgoing CM Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari, with his supporters outside the counting centre in Mysuru on Tuesday.

G.T. Deve Gowda of the JD(S), who defeated outgoing CM Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari, with his supporters outside the counting centre in Mysuru on Tuesday.

He faced an opponent who proclaimed himself the “next Chief Minister” in the run-up to the Assembly elections, but JD(S) leader G.T. Deve Gowda has emerged as a giant killer and defeated his political bete noire Siddaramaiah by a margin of 36,072 votes in Chamundeshwari constituency.

Mr. Gowda told The Hindu that he was always confident of victory by a large margin even though pollsters had predicted a tight contest.

He attributed his victory to the constant contact with the masses that he had maintained in the constituency and said he was not perturbed by the scale of Mr. Siddaramaiah’s campaigning. “The people were with me irrespective of caste affiliations and I was least concerned by the kind of campaigning Mr. Siddaramaiah took out,” he said.

On the other hand, Mr. Siddaramaiah had an image of abandoning the constituency after the delimitation in 2008, when he decided to shift to Varuna. “However, he returned only to contest again and promised to develop it as a model constituency, which the people did not believe,” said Mr. Gowda.

“My first priority is the development of the constituency, which will get a fillip under the new government,” he added after accusing the outgoing Chief Minister of stalling development works in Chamundeshwari. “Because of his attitude, I never called on him even once during the five years that he was Chief Minister,” he said.

Vishwanath’s win

Meanwhile, Hunsur has given a political rebirth of sorts to veteran politician A.H. Vishwanath, who was earlier a prominent Congress leader from K.R. Nagar. He had been facing political oblivion after falling out with Mr. Siddaramaiah, but got a reprieve when the JD(S) fielded him from Hunsur.

“This victory is a political rebirth to me. I thank H.D. Deve Gowda, H.D. Kumaraswamy, and the rank and file of the party, all of whom worked hard for my victory,” he said. Mr. Vishwanath attributed Mr. Siddaramaiah’s defeat to his follies and said, “Having won the people’s mandate to become the CM, he adopted an anti-people attitude. He himself is responsible for the defeat.”

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