Dual candidature not new to K'taka: A look back at former CMs who contested from 2 seats

Both Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy are contesting from two seats this time around. But the trendsetter was Deve Gowda, way back in 1985.
Dual candidature not new to K'taka: A look back at former CMs who contested from 2 seats
Dual candidature not new to K'taka: A look back at former CMs who contested from 2 seats
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It’s a high-tension poll battle in Channapattana constituency. The local strongman CP Yogeshwar, who has remained undefeated for 25 years, is now facing a formidable foe – JD(S) President HD Kumaraswamy.

Channapattana constituency has over 70,000 Vokkaliga voters. While Yogeshwar is the local Vokkaliga leader, the Vokkaligas have largely remained loyal to HD Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy.

But Kumaraswamy is also contesting from his bastion, Ramanagara.

Similarly, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, too, is contesting from two constituencies – Chamundeshwari and Badami. BJP’s Sriramulu meanwhile is contesting from Molakalmuru as well as Badami.

But this is not the first time that tall leaders in Karnataka have contested from two constituencies. Political analyst, Mahadev Prasad says that it was JD(S) supremo, HD Deve Gowda, who started the trend of contesting from two constituencies in Karnataka.

In 1985, Deve Gowda contested from Sathanur (which became a part of Kanakapura in the 2008 delimitation) as well as Holenarasipura. The JD(S) leader had decided to contest from these two constituencies in order to defeat his once close friend – G Puttaswamy Gowda.

Sources in the JD(S) say that back in 1985, Deve Gowda and Puttaswamy had a falling out, leading to the latter quitting the party and joining hands with the Congress. This came as a blow to Deve Gowda as his one-time close friend had allied himself with his sworn enemy – Ramakrishna Hegde. Hence, Deve Gowda had decided to defeat Puttaswamy in his home constituency Holenarasipura and become powerful in Hassan district.

“Deve Gowda knew that he could not win the elections in 1985 if Puttaswamy’s vote bank was not split. Hence, he approached the Congress leader KH Patil and the two struck a deal,” the source said.

Congress would field a weak candidate in Holenarasipura and withdraw the ticket given to Puttaswamy. In return, Deve Gowda would field a weak candidate in Gadag, where KH Patil’s influence was weaning. Patil had lost the elections twice in 1978 and 1983.

Deve Gowda won both seats. Puttaswamy, who had contested as in independent, was the runner-up and lost by a margin of around 2,000 votes.

The second time in 1989, Deve Gowda contested from Holenarasipura and Kanakapura. Deve Gowda had to fight against Puttaswamy Gowda in Holenarasipura again, and Janata Dal United candidate and veteran politician PGR Sindhia as well.

“In 1985, Deve Gowda was contesting in two constituencies in order to defeat Puttaswamy. In 1989, he was contesting from two segments as he knew he was not going to win,” the source said. And this time around, Deve Gowda lost in both segments.

Deve Gowda, for the third time, chose to contest from two constituencies – Kanakapura and Hassan – during the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. He won from Hassan, but lost Kanakapura to Tejaswini Gowda.

Another former Chief Minister who had contested from two segments was S Bangarappa. He had contested from Shikaripur and Sorab segments in the 2004 Assembly elections. Bangarappa had taken on BS Yeddyurappa in Shikaripur in order to defeat him. However, he lost the segment to Yeddyurappa but won in Sorab.

“Just like Deve Gowda in 1985, this time Kumaraswamy is trying to defeat CP Yogeshwar, his long-time foe. DK Shivakumar (incumbent Energy Minister), who is also a bitter rival of Yogeshwar, is helping Kumaraswamy win in Channapattana by fielding a weak candidate. JD(S) in turn will field a weak candidate in Kanakapura, DK Shivakumar’s bastion,” a JD(S) source said.

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah is contesting from two constituencies not with the intent of defeating a rival but in order to ensure a win.

“Siddaramaiah has not been a part of the politics in Chamundeshwari for over a decade. There are equal chances of him winning and losing. Hence, he is contesting from Badami, which has a large population of Kurubas, the community he hails from,” a source said.

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