Congress ‘rebel’ in fray against Deve Gowda in Tumkur

Bengaluru: Defying his party, Congress MP S.P. Muddhanumegowda on Monday filed his nomination from Karnataka’s Tumkur Lok Sabha constituency where Janata Dal-Secular supremo H.D. Deve Gowda is the official candidate of the state’s ruling alliance.

Soon after the 85-year-old Deve Gowda filed the nomination at the Deputy Commissioner’s office amid fanfare, Muddhanumegowda came with hundreds of his supporters to submit his papers.

As per the 21-7 seat-sharing arrangement between the two allies for the state’s 28 parliamentary seats, the Congress conceded Tumkur to the JD-S though Muddhanumegowda had won it in the 2014 polls.

“I have filed nomination as a Congress candidate. I request my leader and leaders of the JD-S to reconsider their decision and give the ticket to me only. I am confident of winning again,” Muddhanumegowda told reporters.

Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara of the Congress, who was present when Deve Gowda filed his nomination, has appealed to Muddhanumegowda to withdraw from the contest and respect the pre-poll tie-up with the JD-S.

On the other hand, pleas by Muddhanumegowda’s supporters to Deve Gowda to contest from Bangalore North were ignored and the JD-S surrendered the seat to the Congress as it did not have a suitable candidate.

Deve Gowda has shifted his parliamentary constituency from his bastion Hassan, after representing it six times since 1991, to pave way for his grandson Prajwal to contest in his place for the first time.

Prajwal is the son of Deve Gowda’s second son and state PWD Minister H.D. Revanna.

Tumkur and Hassan will go to polls in the second phase of the seven phase Lok Sabha elections on April 18 along with 12 other seats in the state’s central and southern regions. Polling in the remaining 14 seats in the coastal and northern regions will be held in the third phase on April 23. Vote count will be on May 23.