Deve Gowda, Revanna, Bhavani, Prajwal and relative MLA Balakrishna cry in unison
Hassan: Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) National President H.D. Deve Gowda yesterday broke down at a rally in Hassan district taking exception to the accusations against him of only promoting his family.
He broke down as he officially announced the candidature of his grandson Prajwal Revanna from Hassan, the constituency he nurtured since 1953. He first became a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1962.
Kick-starting Prajwal’s campaign from Moodalahippe in Holenarasipura, Hassan district, Gowda fought hard to hold back tears as he remembered his early days in politics and announced that he was vacating the seat forever. He said that from now on, Prajwal will continue to nurture the seat.
The emotion spilled over with Prajwal, his father and PWD Minister H.D. Revanna, mother Bhavani Revanna and family relative Channarayapatna MLA Balakrishna also breaking down. Revanna even asked Gowda to consider contesting from Hassan again, but the JD(S) patriarch refused saying his age does not allow him to be active in politics.
Deve Gowda’s two grandchildren Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, and Prajwal Revanna, son of Revanna, will contest in the upcoming general elections.
While Gowda vacated his Hassan seat for Prajwal, Nikhil will contest from neighbouring Mandya. Both seats are strongholds of the party, located in the heart of the Vokkaliga dominated Old Mysuru region.
Gowda said that he had promoted many leaders and yet he was being criticised for promoting Nikhil and Prajwal. “It should be decided. It should be decided [breaks down]… So many accusations… The media keeps saying Deve Gowda, Revanna, Kumaraswamy and his grandchildren… [breaks down again].”
“With all your permissions and with the blessings of our MLAs and yours I have [left Hassan] for Prajwal… [Prajwal breaks down],” Deve Gowda said seeking support from the people of the district.
“But they don’t understand the tribulations I’m subjected to,” he stated, adding that some of his close associates ditched him when he needed them the most. “I’ve built the party and am able to protect it because of the love and affection of the people,” he said.
Later, addressing a press conference in Holenarasipura, Deve Gowda said, he was deeply hurt by the campaign against Nikhil in Mandya. Nikhil is set to go up against Sumalatha Ambarish, wife of the late film star M.H. Ambarish, who was a three-time MP from the seat and was also a former Union Minister.
“In media there is speculation that if [Congress] leaves Tumakuru [from where the Congress won in 2014] then we have to give up Mandya. It has hurt me so much. They say ‘Nikhil go back’. I will go to Mandya and then let them ask me to go back. In my 60 years of politics who have I fought for? I will put all of this before the people. For me, Hassan and Mandya are not different,” Deve Gowda said.
Puja before rally
Prajwal’s parents Revanna and Bhavani campaigned for their youngest son and offered puja at Chennakeshavaswamy Temple, Holenarasipura. Before the family visited the temple, Bhavani handed Prajwal milk in a silver cup.
Two transsexuals blessed the candidate, a rite that is considered auspicious. After the puja, Prajwal was taken in a procession by JD(S) workers through the village.
Crocodile tears: BJP
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to criticise Deve Gowda. “If crying was an art, Deve Gowda and his family would hold the record for mastering the ‘Art Of Crying’ to constantly fool people for decades. Matter of the fact is before elections Deve Gowda and his family cries. After elections people who vote this family cries,” the party said in a tweet.