JD(S) internal feud over Hassan seat continues amid criticism over ‘dynastic politics’
While the feud over the Hassan ticket in the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD (S) continues ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections, the party’s first family has faced public criticism over dynastic representation, people close to developments said on Monday.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is trying to make inroads into the Old Mysuru Region, a Vokkaliga-dominated area and a traditional stronghold of the JD(S), has dubbed it as a “dynastic party” which is “giving tickets to every member of its family.”
Six family members are already in active politics – Deve Gowda is a Member of Rajya Sabha, his sons HD Revanna and HD Kumaraswamy, and his wife Anitha are MLAs. Revanna’s two sons – Prajwal is a Lok Sabha MP, while Suraj is an MLC.
However, former chief minister Kumaraswamy has hit back at Union home minister Amit Shah, saying the BJP’s top brass should look at its party leaders before harping on dynastic politics.
The JD(S) second-in-command pointed out the dynastic politics prevailing in the Karnataka unit of BJP, where former chief minister B S Yediyurappa and his sons are holding key positions in the saffron party.
Amidst these accusations, the Hassan seat has also become a bone of contention as Deve Gowda’s daughter-in-law Bhavani Revanna, who has thrown her hat in the ring, has not relented, despite her brother-in-law Kumaraswamy, repeatedly making it clear that she will not be fielded.
On Sunday night, Kumaraswamy, Revanna and Bhavani reportedly gathered at Deve Gowda’s residence in Bengaluru and discussed the contentious Hassan ticket issue. However, the stalemate over Bhavani’s candidature in Hassan continues.
Kumaraswamy on Monday said there is no change in his stand regarding the selection of the candidate for the Hassan seat and that his father would take a final decision on this.
“Several issues regarding the Hassan seat have been discussed (in last night’s meeting), and it will be decided smoothly. Deve Gowda has gone to Delhi today, once he returns, he will finalise. As I have already said, there is no change in my stand on the Hassan issue, once Deve Gowda returns, it will be decided,” Kumaraswamy said.
Kumaraswamy is backing HP Swaroop, a former zilla panchayat vice president and son of former MLA late HS Prakash’s son. HS Prakash was a four-time MLA from this constituency who lost the 2018 Assembly election to BJP’s Preetham Gowda.
Bhavani Revanna, a former Hassan zilla panchayat member, is the wife of Kumaraswamy’s elder brother and former minister H D Revanna and has the backing of her husband and son Prajwal and Suraj Revanna, who have rallied behind her.
Hassan is the home district of Deve Gowda. The party in 2018 Assembly polls had won in six out of seven segments other than the Hassan assembly seat, which BJP’s Preetham Gowda had won, making it the first-ever win for the saffron party in the Vokkaliga dominated district.
The JD(S) was expected to announce the second list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections on Monday and to put an end to the internal family feud over ticket distribution. However, the second list is now likely to be delayed by two to three days due to the family feud, party officials said.
All the sitting MLAs from the family are expected to get the party ticket. If Bhavani gets the ticket, she would be the fifth member of the family to contest in the Karnataka 2023 assembly elections, for which voting will take place on May 10, and votes will be counted on May 13, the officials added.