Hoskote contest turns engrossing as JD(S) enters arena

Kumaraswamy says his party will support Sharath Bache Gowda if he stands as an Independent candidate in bypolls

Wading into the already troubled political waters in Hoskote where disqualified legislator N. Nagaraju (MTB) is in a bitter feud with another BJP ticket contender Sharath Bache Gowda, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday said that the JD(S) could support Mr. Sharath if he seeks help as an Independent.

“They [Sharath’s family] were with us. The party will support the Independent candidature of Mr. Sharath and contest in all the 14 other constituencies. We will release the list of candidates by Thursday morning,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sharath held a meeting with workers supporting him in Hoskote despite specific warning from BJP leader R. Ashok not to do so. Mr. Sharath announced he would contest as an Independent candidate if the BJP does not field him. The BJP is likely to take disciplinary action against him if he files his nomination as an Independent, sources said.

However, Mr. Sharath seems to have got a shot in the arm with the JD(S) announcing its support. Though Mr. Kumaraswamy’s announcement came as a surprise in political circles, it is learnt that the move has stemmed from his desire to defeat Mr. Nagaraju, who was among those instrumental in bringing down his coalition government.

Interestingly, Mr. Kumaraswamy’s father and JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and Mr. Sharath’s father and BJP MP from Chickballapur B.N Bache Gowda have been political enemies for nearly two decades. Formerly with the Janata Parivar, Mr. Bache Gowda, who fell out with Mr. Deve Gowda, resurrected his political career with the BJP. Political circles are agog with tales that Mr. Kumaraswamy entered the fray in Chickballapur Lok Sabha constituency to divide the Vokkaliga votes which led to the defeat of Mr. Bache Gowda.

Vokkaliga votes

However, Mr. Kumaraswamy’s announcement now is being viewed as consolidating the Vokkaliga votes against Mr. Nagaraju, who belongs to the Kuruba community.

For Mr. Nagaraju, a former Minister in the coalition government and a known follower of former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the going seems to be tough at the moment as Mr. Siddaramaiah is also strategising to ensure his defeat.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kumaraswamy claimed that the party would win six seats. “People have questioned our party’s strength. We have lost three legislators. But, we will win six seats in the elections,” he told presspersons here. “JD(S) will keep equal distance from both Congress and BJP. Both are our opponents,” he said, refuting that there has been an internal understanding with the BJP.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 11:59:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hoskote-contest-turns-engrossing-as-jds-enters-arena/article29966404.ece

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