Enter Gowda 3G: HDK’s son makes bid for Mandya

BENGALURU/MANDYA: The upcoming Lok Sabha elections could pretty much turn into a family affair for Janata Dal (Secular).

Two days after party supremo HD Deve Gowda announced that Prajwal Revanna, son of chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s elder brother and PWD minister HD Revanna, will contest from the Hassan Lok Sabha seat, Kumarswamy’s actor-son Nikhil has made it known that he is ready to take the political plunge from Mandya Lok Sabha seat.

“A few party leaders from Mandya have been pressuring me to contest the LS polls. As the chief minister’s son, I have some responsibilities. If the party leaders decide that I have to contest the elections, I have no choice,” Nikhil said while touring Mandya on Saturday. He added, “It doesn’t mean that my film career is over. I will act in films and concentrate on my political responsibilities.”

If both grandsons get tickets, and if Gowda decides to contest from Mysuru or Bengaluru North Lok Sabha seat, three members of the JD(S) first family will be fighting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The party is demanding 12 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka from its alliance partner Congress. It is, however, expected to get 4-6 seats, said party sources.

The move to field Nikhil was not an afterthought, family sources said, as the 28-year-old is seen as the heir to Kumaraswamy’s legacy. He is being pushed to contest elections because of his father’s deteriorating health.

Shivarame Gowda asked to make way for Nikhil

Nikhil made his Sandalwood debut in 2016 with Jaguar, and his second film, Seetarama Kalyana, is all set to release on January 25. He is shooting for another bigbudget film, Kurukshetra, being produced by RR Nagar Congress MLA Munirathna.

JD(S) leader LR Shivarame Gowda, who won from Mandya in the recent bypolls, has already been convinced by Kumaraswamy to make way for Nikhil, sources added. The Prajwal-Nikhilface-off isbeing seen as game of one-upmanship in the first family of JD(S) that has been on since the assembly polls. Prajwal and his mother Bhavani Revanna, a ZP member in Hassan,had viedfor tickets to contest the assembly polls but in vain. Revanna and his family have made Hassan their political fiefdom while Kumaraswamy has taken control of Ramanagara district.

In the recent bypolls, Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha successfully contested from Ramanagara after it was vacated by him to retain Channapatna. During the 2018 assembly polls, Gowda had persuaded Prajwal, who was keen on contesting from Hunsur, to withdraw by promising him the Hassan LS ticket in 2019. The Gowda fight has given more ammunition to the opposition BJP which has branded JD(S) as Appa-Makkala Paksha (father-sons party).

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