BENGALURU: Even as the JD(S) tries to push an image of being a secular regional party over the years, it has been unable to shun the tag of being a Vokkaliga and father-and-sons party.
Like every other election in the last decade, this year too the first family of the JD(S) seems to be hogging the limelight with the recent spat between JD(S) national president and former PM HD Deve Gowda with his grandson and greenhorn in politics, Prajwal Revanna.
On Sunday, Gowda said Prajwal had apologised for his remarks of JD(S) encouraging “suitcase” politics and said he will continue as an ordinary party worker. But the race is still wide open for at least five from the family likely to contest in the upcoming 2018 assembly elections and 2019 parliamentary polls.
A look at each of these contenders from the Gowda clan:
H D Kumaraswamy
: The 57-year-old former chief minister and incumbent state president of JD(S), is the youngest son of Deve Gowda. He has a bachelor degree in science and also is a film producer and distributor. Known to be the face of the JD(S), Kumaraswamy has been an MLA for two terms from Ramanagara and an MP for one term from the Bengaluru rural constituency.
Being the de-facto CM candidate for the party, Kumaraswamy will in all probability will be contesting from Ramanagara for a third term and try to salvage his party’s future.
H D Revanna
: The second son of Gowda, H D Revanna has always been the man behind the scenes and has been pegged for a long time to succeed his father as the most likely candidate for the Hassan Lok Sabha seat. The 10th standard pass, 59-year-old seasoned politician has been an MLA for four consecutive terms from Holenarsipura constituency in Hassan. He is also certain to contest in 2018 polls for the fifth time.
: Wife of Kumaraswamy and a software engineer, Anitha has been a one-time MLA from Channapatna and lost the second time in 2013. She also unsuccessfully contested from the Bengaluru rural LS constituency losing to D K Suresh, brother of energy minister D K Shiva Kumar.
Anitha, while having faded away after the dismal performance in 2014, has revived herself by holding meetings with local JD(S) party workers and community leaders in Channapatna over the last few months. While she faces a stiff challenge from incumbent Congress MLA C P Yogeshwar, the former PM has hinted that she may contest this year and try her luck for the third time.
: Claimed to be more “pro-active” than Anitha in political circles, Bhavani Revanna finally realised her ambition of entering politics earlier last year, albeit only in a small role. Elected to the Hassan zilla panchayat from Halekote in Holenarispura constituency which is controlled by her husband, Bhavani was pegged to be the ZP president. However, she missed the bus after the Congress ensured that its candidate got the seat. While her nascent ambition of contesting for a MLA ticket continues, the entry of her son Prajwal Revanna may tilt the odds.
: Having nurtured his ambitions of contesting in politics since he turned 21, the third generation of Gowda family and son of H D Revanna and Bhavani Revanna, Prajwal has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. He has a degree in Engineering. While the 25-year-old’s hope of contesting from Belur constituency was shot down by his grandfather, Prajwal faced a double whammy with his uncle Kumaraswamy unofficially declaring Adaguru H Vishwanath, who recently joined JD(S) from the Congress, as the likely candidate from Hunsur constituency. His comments of the party encouraging “suitcase” politics has further estranged him from the family to secure a 2018 assembly ticket. However, depending upon the party fortunes, Prajwal may get an outside chance of contesting from the Hassan LS seat which is presently represented by grandfather. The 84 year old Deve Gowda has said he will not contest in 2019 parliamentary elections.
:A recent entrant into the world of films, the 27-year-old has chances of contesting the 2018 or 2019 polls if called upon. Son of Kumaraswamy and Anitha, Nikhil has been insulated from politics for a long time now and has not been active in the JD(S).