- Former PM touches emotional chord at Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s political baptism
- Says accusations of nepotism and dynastic politics against his family are unfounded
Mandya: After announcing the entry of his first grandson Prajwal Revanna (son of PWD Minister H.D. Revanna) into electoral politics from Hassan Lok Sabha seat on Wednesday amidst tears, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda launched his second grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy as candidate for the Mandya Lok Sabha seat yesterday where he told his critics not to mock his tears.
At Silver Jubilee Park in Mandya where the party function was held, Gowda made an emotional pitch but controlled his tears while he said Nikhil was entering politics to help his father, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who has not been in the pink of health, and also to strengthen the party.
“I had cried in Hassan due to the affection shown by my grandchildren and people who elected me. Media friends are mocking me because I shed tears. I won’t shed any tears here. Do not mock my tears. Nikhil is mature enough to serve the people of this Constituency and he will stay here. People should elect him,” he said.
Deve Gowda said Nikhil himself had expressed his desire to enter politics after considering the health of Kumaraswamy. “When my son had a second open heart surgery, my grandson was in the film industry. Considering the health condition of his father, Nikhil had expressed his desire to help his father and serve the party,” Gowda said.
On his party’s contribution, Gowda said that it was Congress-JD(S) that gave strength to Congress to pave way to scuttle the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India free from Congress (Congress Mukt Bharat). The former PM informed that after the JD(S)-Congress alliance formed in Karnataka, the BJP could win only one seat among the 13 by-elections held across the country.
“I still remember the scene witnessed during swearing-in ceremony of Kumaraswamy in which leaders of various non-BJP parties had arrived and showed their willingness to fight unitedly to thrash the dreams of BJP retaining the power after 2019 general election,” he added.
Deve Gowda revealed that when Congress came forward to have alliance only with the aim of preventing BJP from coming to power in the State and asked Kumaraswamy to become Chief Minister, he initially did not agree and asked any Congress leader to the post since he (Kumaraswamy) has undergone open heart surgery and he may not take up further responsibility. “Succumbing to the pressure of the Congress leaders, finally Kumaraswamy agreed to shoulder the responsibility” he said.
“Accusations of nepotism and dynastic politics against my family are unfounded as I had suggested the name of Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha, for the CM’s post,” he said.
On family politics, the JD(S) Supremo said, “My father was an agriculturist and he was not a politician. I selected my grandsons to see that my works in politics is continued and the aim of serving the people should be carried further and not with any other ill intention or to prevent others from losing the opportunity.”
Kumaraswamy, who echoed similar views regarding his son’s entry into politics, said that he was afraid when Nikhil was selected as the candidate to contest from Mandya. “During the previous election, I had to travel and campaign alone. Seeing my situation, Nikhil asked me whether he could campaign in some Constituencies on my behalf,” he said.
Kumaraswamy said, “Our family entered politics not to make any property and our property is people of the State. Nikhil is contesting from Mandya to serve the people and he is not a power-monger,” he said. Referring to ‘Go back Nikhil Kumaraswamy’ in social media, Kumaraswamy said his party is here not to run away but to show strength.