HD Kumaraswamy may contest Lok Sabha polls if Modi, Shah want him to, says JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda

BJP and JD(S) have already joined hands and struck an alliance in Karnataka to fight the ruling Congress in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 25, 2024 | 5:48 PMUpdatedJan 25, 2024 | 5:49 PM

File photo of HD Deve Gowda.

JD(S) patriarch and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda on Thursday, 25 January, indicated that his son and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy may contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

He added that Kumaraswamy would be contesting if Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah wanted him to do so.

The BJP and the JD(S) have already joined hands in Karnataka to fight the ruling Congress in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

“Kumaraswamy… leave aside the speculations, don’t know what Modi will say. In case he says he (Kumaraswamy) has to contest parliament polls, he may contest from anywhere, he has no issues, whether it is Mandya or even Tumakuru or Chikkaballapura, he is being invited to contest from many seats,” Gowda said responding to a question whether Kumaraswamy will contest Lok Sabha polls from Mandya.

“It is for Modi and Shah to decide if Kumaraswamy has to come to Delhi.”

Also read: HD Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy meet PM Narendra Modi

‘No discussions have taken place’

“But, according to my knowledge, no such discussions have taken place so far. There are speculations about taking Kumaraswamy to Delhi and making him minister in the Union Cabinet, but no such discussions have happened before me,” the former prime minister added.

Asked whether his grandson and Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy will contest the Lok Sabha polls, the JD(S) supremo said, Kumaraswamy is against fielding him, and he will have to decide on it.

“About Nikhil Kumaraswamy, Kumaraswamy feels that he should not contest, but in Mandya party leaders have made a unanimous resolution demanding either Nikhil Kumaraswamy or Kumaraswamy has to contest from there, but Kumaraswamy has to give his approval to it if he approves he (Nikil) will contest, if not no,” he said.

“He (Kumaraswamy) feels that both he and his son should not be contesting, as they will have to lead the party and its campaign.”

Nikhil Kumaraswamy had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha from the Mandya seat against actress-turned-politician Sumalatha Ambareesh, an independent candidate supported by the BJP. He had also lost the 2023 Assembly polls from the party bastion of Ramanagara to Congress candidate HA Iqbal Hussain.

Also read: Mysuru becomes bone of contention in JD (S) and BJP alliance

Prajwal Revanna to seek re-election

Noting that JD(S) has a sitting Member of Parliament from his home turf of Hassan, Gowda indicated that his other grandson Prajwal Revanna will seek re-election from the constituency in the Lok Sabha polls.

“There were speculations that I would contest from Hassan, many tried to create this impression that Gowda has to contest his last election from Hassan, but I said, I will not contest. I’m now 91 years old. In three months, on 18 May, I will complete 91. So in this constituency, I will try to ensure that people support sitting MP Prajwal Revanna,” he said.

Gowda said Kumaraswamy recently had a first round of meetings with state leaders of BJP like BS Yediyurappa, Basavaraj Bommai and BY Vijayendra regarding seat sharing for the Lok Sabha polls.

“Regarding the seat sharing I will not interfere, it is left to him (Kumaraswamy). I have not discussed how many seats will be given to us (JDS) and which are those seats. There are speculations about Mandya, Kolar, and Tumakuru among others (from where JDS will field candidates), but it is yet to be decided,” he added.

Also read: JD(S) to ‘claim winnable seats’, seal the deal with BJP for LS polls by January-end

JD(S)-BJP alliance

The JD(S) decided to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in September last year after a meeting Kumaraswamy had with Amit Shah and Nadda in New Delhi.

Both parties have said they would fight the coming general elections in Karnataka together.

In the elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly in May last year, the JD(S) put up a poor show, winning only 19 seats. The Congress bagged 135 and the BJP 66.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won a record 25 out of the 28 Parliamentary seats, where the Congress, the JD(S), and an independent had won one each. The JD(S) and the Congress jointly fought the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Among the South Indian states, Karnataka has the highest number of BJP parliamentarians.

Also read: JD(S) to ‘claim winnable seats’, seal the deal with BJP for LS polls

JD(S) demanding four seats

Sources earlier told South First that the regional party is demanding at least four parliamentary seats for the general elections.

Other than Hassan and Mandya, the JD(S) is eyeing the Mysuru, Kolar (SC), Raichur (ST), and Vijayapura (SC) constituencies — all of them currently represented by the BJP.

Senior JD(S) leader and former minister SR Mahesh told South First earlier: “The party leadership is planning to demand four Lok Sabha seats. Hassan, Mandya, Kolar, and either Mysuru or Raichur.”

He added: “We are demanding these seats because the party has a strong base in these constituencies, and there are high chances of emerging victorious. We have held talks with BS Yediyurappa and are yet to meet the BJP high command regarding seat-sharing equations.”

(With PTI inputs)