KARNATAKA

Perfect birthday gift to Deve Gowda

Shama Sunder

The Janata Dal (S) patriarch wins with a record margin of 2.91 lakh votes from Hassan

HASSAN: Hassan gave a perfect present to the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, who is celebrating his 77th birthday on May 18. He won with a record lead of 2.91 lakh votes. It is also a record in Hassan Lok Sabha Constituency. In 2004, Mr. Deve Gowda won the seat by margin of 1.89 lakh votes.

It was victory from the word go for Mr. Deve Gowda. Even in postal ballots, Mr. Deve Gowda was in the lead. When electronic voting machines were opened and counting took place, the Janata Dal (S) patriarch established lead from the first round.

Mr. Deve Gowda also broke the jinx that “9” number that was unlucky for him. In 1989, he was defeated in both Assembly constituencies that he contested from Kanakapura and Holenarsipura. In 1999, he tasted defeat in Lok Sabha election. This time – 2009, he was a bit worried about the result. Even before filing nomination, Mr. Deve Gowda toured the district and took the opinion of party workers and filed his nomination.

Now, this is the fifth time that Mr. Deve Gowda has been elected to the Lok Sabha.

Earlier, he was elected from Hassan in 1991, 1998 and 2004 while he was elected from Kanakapura in 2001 that was held following death of M.V. Chandrasekhar Murthy.

Janata Dal (Secular) district unit president and former Rajya Sabha member H.K. Javare Gowda told The Hindu here on Friday that there was a wave in favour of Mr. Deve Gowda throughout the district, including in Kadur Assembly Constituency that was earlier in Chikmagalur Lok Sabha Constituency.

Congress candidate B. Shivaram was let down by his own party leaders. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who addressed an election rally in Mangalore, did not visit Hassan.

Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who addressed an election rally in Bangalore, did not visit Hassan.

For the BJP candidate K.H. Hanume Gowda, age and ill health came in the way. There was no coordination between leaders in the district. Although the former minister and former BJP State unit president B.B. Shivappa was considered as a prominent leader of Veerasiva community, the district leadership ignored him.

In fact, when BJP’s prime minister candidate L.K. Advani addressed an election rally in Hassan, Mr. Shivappa was not given a pass to enter VIP enclosure and was ignored.

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