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Battleground of two political families

H.D.-KumaraswamyBangalore: The battle for the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha seat is more than an electoral contest for the Janata Dal (Secular). It will be an out-and-out effort to regain its lost hold on the constituency and an opportunity to avenge the defeat of a family member in a recent election held here.

Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was humbled by Congress candidate D.K. Suresh, brother of Minister for Energy D.K. Shivakumar, in the 2013 byelection. The Congress has since established control over the constituency, which was once a citadel of the JD(S). It is said that neither Ms. Anitha Kumaraswamy nor Mr. Kumaraswamy are inclined to contest the coming LS elections.

Considering the nearly 15-year-old political rivalry between the family of the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and that of Mr. Shivakumar, the coming polls will be a crucial battle for the two powerful political families. According to a recent poll survey, though a triangular contest is on the cards in the constituency, it is expected to be more of a face off between the Congress and the JD(S).

While the Congress is certain to field Mr. Suresh, the JD(S) is yet to decide its candidate. In the fight between the two high-profile political families, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning to field the president of the BJP Yuva Morcha, Muniraju.

It is said that Mr. Deve Gowda is interested in contesting from Hassan this time rather than Bangalore Rural, which was the constituency that gave him political rebirth. This constituency, carved out afresh after the delimitation of constituencies in 2008 (earlier a part of Kanakapura), had enabled Mr. Gowda to emerge out of political hibernation in 2002 (byelection). However, a section of the leaders are of the opinion that his candidature from Bangalore Rural would help the party significantly in the Vokkaliga belt. “We will field a “powerful” candidate from Bangalore Rural, as our chances are bright,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said.

It should be noted that Mr. Suresh (Congress) won in the bypolls because of the support that he received from C.P. Yogeshwar of the Samajwadi Party. Now it is said that Mr. Yogeshwar is keen to support the JD(S) if Mr. Deve Gowda contests from this constituency.