3 Generations Of Deve Gowda Family Are Poll Candidates; Some Tears And Complaints

While pushing the family cause seems to have irked many in the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), the BJP hopes to benefit from the situation.

3 Generations Of Deve Gowda Family Are Poll Candidates; Some Tears And Complaints

HD Deve Gowda was moved to tears while announcing his grandson's candidature from Hassan.


Family matters can get emotional. Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda could barely keep his tears in check while handing over his seat - Hassan in southern Karnataka - to grandson Prajwal Revanna at a public event in the parliamentary constituency on Wednesday.

"With your blessings and the blessings of God Channakeshava, I have chosen Prajwal Revanna to contest from Hassan (in the Lok Sabha elections)," he announced, moving three generations of his family to tears. Prajwal is the son of Karnataka Minister HD Revanna.

Another grandson of Mr Gowda - Nikhil - will also contest the upcoming elections. The actor son of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, he has been given the Mandya ticket. Both Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy travelled to the parliamentary constituency on Thursday to campaign for his entry into politics.

With the former Prime Minister also contesting the elections, three of the eight seats the party managed to wrest from coalition partner Congress will go to the Gowda family. Add HD Kumaraswamy, his legislator wife Anitha and Minister HD Revanna to this list, and the family can be viewed as well-represented in Karnataka's electoral politics.

But will these family ties backfire? Nikhil will be up against Sumalatha, the wife of late superstar Ambareesh, in Mandya. And the decision to give him the ticket has reportedly spurred resentment in the Congress - which did not want to part with the seat - as well as the Janata Dal (Secular).

The BJP, which is taking on the coalition in the May elections, hopes the party has made a mistake in pushing for members of the Gowda family. "I think only Kumaraswamy and his family are proposing Nikhil Kumaraswamy's name. I think he is all alone now, because there is no support for him within or outside. Nikhil Kumaraswamy will lose the election," BJP leader R Ashok told NDTV.

Mr Ashok termed favouring of relatives as a brand of politics that's unhealthy for the nation. "The sad thing is that they are projecting just one family. Take Sharad Pawar, for instance. He said that he will not contest the elections if his grandson is contesting. Deve Gowdaji should take such a stand for healthy politics. I am not condemning family politics, but what's all this about grandson, grandfather and father? This is shameful in a democracy," he said.

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