news Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 2, 2015 | 1.39 pm IST There is the very real possibility, that in future, all that may be left of the Janata Dal (Secular) is the “father and sons”. Correction. “Father, sons, and grandson(s)”. With Prajwal Revanna’s, formal entry into the party, the plans for succession appear to have been upended. Prajwal is Deve Gowda’s grandson and Revanna’s son. There is a tussle within the first family of the JD (S) – between the interested and the disinterested (in politics) family members and the dictates of the party and family patriarch H D Deve Gowda. Gowda’s plans for succession within the party may not go down well with those who might get left out.  Even as the JD (S) has fared worse than the other two national parties during the last Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, it has still managed to remain significant electorally, but only just. Gowda plans to retire in such a scenario, and leave national politics to one side of the family and the state to another.  Those interested Gowda wants to leave the national politics to his older son H D Revanna, and also wants to groom the latter’s son Prajwal to take over the party reins. Although he very much wanted to, Prajwal could not contest the previous Lok Sabha elections because he was not yet 25 years of age, which is one of the eligibility criteria to contest the Parliamentary polls.  Prajwal’s mother Bhavani Revanna, who was a reluctant campaigner for the party 20 years ago, is now Deve Gowda’s close confidante. She nurses a different set of ambitions for Revanna and her son. She wants to see her husband as chief minister but did not want her son to join politics initially. But Bhavani herself is a formidable campaigner and has helped Revanna and the party win elections in Hassan. She too wishes to contest polls but for reasons best known to Gowda himself, he does not let her.  Birthday celebrations of H D Revanna (on the right). Prajwal is in the centre, Bhavani on the left. Those disinterested  Anitha Kumaraswamy on the other hand does not have a good track record with elections. In the August 2013 bypolls to the Lok Sabha, Anitha could not win the Bangalore Rural seat vacated by her husband H D Kumaraswamy, after he won the Assembly elections in May 2013. However, it appears that Deve Gowda had fielded her Anitha owing to the family background. She belongs to an influential family of Chintamani and belongs to the dominant Marasu Vokkaliga caste.  Entry of the grandsons  Nikhil Kumaraswamy was set to join the party at 23, in 2012, but the decision was deferred at the time. Gowda is believed to be grooming him for Ramnagara district. Anitha and Kumaraswamy both want Nikhil to be given more prominence in the party, but Deve Gowda is not keen on Nikhil joining the party. Nikhil has campaigned in the past for the party during elections, but he has shown more interest in an acting career. Kumaraswamy’s long-term plans include building an acting career for his son and then capitalizing on the mass appeal for politics. It appears that the power struggles within the party are not among the men, but the women. So while the women attempt to pull strings behind the scenes, the party may soon be known as the party of the “father, sons and grandsons”. Tweet

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