- JD-S spokesperson ends suspense over Deve Gowda's seat
- He had given up his seat for grandson, and another stronghold as well
- Announcement triggers protest from Congress MP, says he will contest too
After weeks of suspense, the announcement was finally made on Saturday. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from the Tumakuru constituency in Karnataka as the candidate for the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and Congress alliance, his party said.
Last week, Mr Deve Gowda had handed over his seat - Hassan in southern Karnataka - to grandson Prajwal Revanna at a public event in the parliamentary constituency in a moment that had leaders from the three generations of the JD-S in tears.
Mandya, the other seat which is right now represented by the JD-S in parliament, too was given to another grandson of Mr Deve Gowda - Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. This had raised the question about where HD Deve Gowda would choose to contest from.
With the announcement of Mr Deve Gowda's candidacy by his party, three of the eight seats the JD-S managed to wrest from coalition partner Congress will go to the Gowda family. After long-drawn negotiations, the Congress and the JD-S had come to a 20-8 seat sharing agreement last week.
However, Saturday's decision immediately triggered a protest from the Congress lawmaker who represents Tumakuru. "I'm a sitting MP from here and I have delivered at the floor of the house. Why have you denied me the ticket? It is not correct," SP Muddahanumegowda said.
"Elected representatives and all local leaders want me to contest. That's why on Monday we will start a procession from BGS Circle to DC Office and I'll file the nomination with the support of all our leaders as the Congress candidate for Tumakuru," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Voting for the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka will be held in two phases on April 18 and 23. Results will be declared on May 23.