Janata Dal (Secular) president and former Prime Minister HD Devegowda filed his nomination for the Tumkur Lok Sabha constituency on Monday, The New Indian Express reported. He will contest the elections on April 18 on a joint Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress ticket.
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and other Congress leaders also accompanied the veteran to the nomination center in Tumkur, reports said.
According to the seat sharing deal between the two parties, the Janata Dal (Secular) was to fight from eight seats – Uttara Kannada, Udupi Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Tumkur, Hassan, Mandya, Bengaluru North and Vijayapura. The Congress got the remaining seats. The state sends 28 members to the Lok Sabha. On Monday, however, the Janata Dal (Secular) returned the Bengaluru North seat to the Congress.
Devegowda’s decision to contest from the Tumkur seat has created fissures in the coalition in the state.
Incumbent legislator SP Muddahanumegowda filed his nomination from the Tumkur seat on Monday. “I have filed my nomination as a Congress candidate,” Muddahanumegowda told ANI. “I request my leader and leaders of JD(S) to reconsider their decision and to give the ticket to me only. I am confident that I will get back the seat.”
Tumkur Congress leader KN Rajanna also said he will file his nomination from the constituency. “We request HD Devegowda to contest from Bengaluru North instead of Tumkur. If Devegowda wants to contest from here, let him contest on a Congress ticket and we all will vote for him.”
This led to Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy rebuking the Congress and telling it to sort out its internal matters. “We all are fighting unitedly but a few people are unnecessarily creating a disturbance for their personal gains,” Kumaraswamy told ANI, adding that some people in the Congress had tried to create “speed breakers” for his party’s candidates. “No matter how much they back stab my candidates, JD(S) workers and I won’t do the same,” he added.
Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, meanwhile, has urged Muddahanumegowda to “obey the coalition dharma”. On Monday, Parameshwara said, “Tumkur was not be given to JD(S) but the party high command decided to give it. We never expected that Devegowda ji will contest from Tumkur. Now, that he has decided to contest, naturally we will support him.”