The Hassan Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka, which was held by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda for five terms, will now be held by his grandson and JD(S) candidate, Prajwal Revanna, who has emerged victorious in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Prajwal is winning with 6,75,512 votes, by a margin of 1,42,123 votes, after 21 rounds of counting. Congress rebel and BJP candidate A Manju is emerging second with 5,33,389 votes.
This victory marks Prajwal's debut in electoral politics. Armed with a postgraduate degree from Australia, Prajwal had first started assisting Deve Gowda during the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. He toured the Old Mysuru region regularly and also took up the task of campaigning for his father’s constituency – the Holenarasipra Assembly segment – during the 2018 Assembly elections. Although he was touted to be a strong contender for the Assembly elections, he was denied a ticket.
For the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Deve Gowda, who was the MP from Hassan, relinquished his seat to pave the way for Prajwal, the son of Karnataka PWD Minister HD Revanna. Prajwal shifted to Hassan in order to help build the youth wing of the party, and made inroads into Belur, Hunsur and the Mandya regions.
“I will be eternally thankful to the voters of Hassan, who have trusted me and cast their valuable votes in my favour,” Prajwal Revanna said, after winning the election, “I thank all the Congress leaders for their support, as they set aside all their differences. I thank all the JD(S) party workers, who worked day and night to ensure my victory. I had approached the people assuring the overall development of the district. Each taluk faces a different problem. I would make all efforts to find a solution.”
Prajwal faced Congress rebel Manju in a heated battle in the polls – Manju switched to the BJP after reports emerged that Deve Gowda would not contest as the coalition candidate from Hassan. Manju had expected the Congress to give him the ticket to contest from Hassan. However, he was disappointed when the seat was given to the JD(S) and Prajwal Revanna was the preferred candidate instead of Deve Gowda.
Deve Gowda was elected as the Hassan MP three times in a row in 2004, 2009 and 2014. He was also previously elected in 1991 and 1998, but faced defeat in 1999. Manju was defeated by Deve Gowda in the 2014 elections from the constituency.
During the campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, questions were raised about dynasty politics and the JD(S)'s attempt to make Hassan its bastion. And with this first win, Prajwal is set to do just that.