Deve Gowda to contest 19 June Rajya Sabha polls from Karnataka 'at Sonia Gandhi's request', says HD Kumaraswamy

Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch HD Deve Gowda has decided to contest the 19 June Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka, and will be filing his nominations on 9 June, his son and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said

Press Trust of India June 08, 2020 18:54:19 IST
Deve Gowda to contest 19 June Rajya Sabha polls from Karnataka 'at Sonia Gandhi's request', says HD Kumaraswamy

Bengaluru: Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch HD Deve Gowda has decided to contest the 19 June Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka, and will be filing his nominations on 9 June, his son and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said on Monday.

He said the former Prime Minister made his decision following the request of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, several national leaders and party legislators, and it was not an easy task to "persuade" him to enter the Rajya Sabha.

"From the people, former prime minister Deve Gowda has seen success and defeat.By the people, he has acquired higher positions. It was not an easy task to persuade DeveGowda to enter the Rajya Sabha," he said.

The JD(S), which has 34 seats in the Assembly, is not in a position to win a seat in Rajya Sabha on its own and will need support from the Congress with its surplus votes. A minimum of 45 votes are required for candidates to win.

If he wins, this will be the second Rajya Sabha entry for 87-year-old Gowda, the first time being in 1996 as then prime minister.

Deve Gowda to contest 19 June Rajya Sabha polls from Karnataka at Sonia Gandhis request says HD Kumaraswamy

File image of JD(S) leader and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda. Getty Images.

Gowda was defeated in Tumkur constituency by BJP's GS Basavaraj by over 13,000 votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

As joint candidate of the then ruling Congress-JDS coalition, Gowda had chosen to contest from Tumkur at the last minute after vacating Hassan — his home turf, to grandson Prajwal Revanna (a current MP).

Election is scheduled on 19 June to fill four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka represented by Rajeev Gowda and BK Hariprasad of the Congress, Prabhakar Kore of the BJP and D Kupendra Reddy of the JD(S) that will fall vacant on 25 June, with their retirement. 9 June is the last date for filing nominations.

Responding to a question about Kumaraswamy's tweet that Gowda is contesting on the request of Sonia Gandhi and whether the state Congress was kept in the loop, KPCC chief DK Shivakumar said what has been discussed internally, cannot be shared outside.

Stating that the state leadership cannot interfere in the decision taken by the high command, he said "things have been discussed with us.... whoever is authorised to talk on a matter, only they have to talk about it. I cannot talk on a matter related to the former PM. ...it is a national issue, national leadership has decided something to send a message to the country, we will abide by it."

"It is his (Kumaraswamy's) greatness that he has made a reference to our leader. I will leave it to him," Shivakumar said and asserted that the state unit would abide by the national leadership's decision.

According to JD(S) sources, Gowda was not keen on contesting the Rajya Sabha polls, and there was a feeling that taking support from the Congress will make it difficult for JD(S) prospects in the old Mysuru region, where the Congress is its traditional rival, as it happened during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, which both parties fought in alliance.

After the alliance faced a rout in the polls, dissidence sprung up within, which eventually led to the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by Kumaraswamy.

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