Weeks after he said that he will not contest from Chamundeshwari Assembly segment in Mysuru, speculation over former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s probable entry into the poll fray from the constituency has resurfaced.
While speaking to a television channel in Mysuru, JD(S) MLC C.N. Manje Gowda claimed that Mr. Kumaraswamy, who was in Hunsur on Thursday to inaugurate a wrestling competition, told a group of party legislators including S.R. Mahesh, Ashwin Kumar and Mahadev, that he will be the party candidate from Chamundeshwari in the next Assembly elections.
He told the leaders that he would visit each village of the constituency during the next one to one-and-a-half month.
Mr. Manje Gowda also claimed that Mr. Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy will contest from Ramanagaram Assembly segment, which is now represented by the former Chief Minister.
The speculation over Mr. Kumaraswamy’s move assumes significance in the wake of former Minister and sitting JD(S) MLA representing the constituency G.T. Deve Gowda making clear his decision to sever ties with the party and join either Congress or BJP.
The JD(S) has a strong support base in Chamundeshwari that came to the fore during the 2018 elections when Mr. Gowda defeated former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah by more than 38,000 votes.
Mr. Manje Gowda said Mr. Kumaraswamy’s entry into the poll fray will end the confusion among the party workers of Chamundeshwari. He denied that Mr. Kumaraswamy was contesting from the constituency as the party did not have a suitable candidate to contest against Mr. Gowda. “The party has atleast 15 suitable candidates in the constituency”, he said.
Denying that the JD(S) was trying to “blackmail” Mr. G.T. Deve Gowda to remain in party, Mr. Manje Gowda said there is a lot of pressure on Mr. Kumaraswamy to contest from Chamundeshwari.
The political rivals of JD(S), who were claiming that the party will not win 15 seats a few days ago, were now giving the party 40 seats. With elections one more year away, the party will surely cross the 100 mark and secure enough seats to rule the State for one full term, he said.
“People of the State have decided to bring a regional party to power this time”, he said. The youth and people from different sections of the society want to see Mr. Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister, he added.