The stalemate over the candidate selection of the JD(S) for the Hassan segment in Karnataka remains unresolved as the families of former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and his elder brother HD Revanna are at odds over the choice. While the party has already announced the list of 93 candidates for the May 10 elections, they are yet to finalize their nominee for the Hassan constituency.
Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy recently threw the final decision ball into the court of JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda, after meetings between the families failed to resolve the issue. The row came to light in January when Revanna’s wife Bhavani announced that she would contest the seat, for which the party decided to choose HP Swaroop, a former Hassan zilla panchayat vice-president, and son of former MLA late HS Prakash instead. Kumaraswamy asked for the selection of a consensus candidate to quell any rebellion, but that too was unsuccessful.
Hassan is Gowda’s home district, and the JD(S) had swept six of the seven seats in the 2018 elections, barring Hassan constituency, for which the BJP won their first-ever seat. Since then, Kumaraswamy has been hoping to reclaim the seat.
Controversy erupted due to Kumaraswamy having previously given his wife Anitha a party nomination in 2008, 2013 and 2018 elections, while not doing the same for Bhavani. In order to avoid any more negative publicity and perception against the party as being too family centric, as six members of the Gowda family are already involved in active politics, Kumaraswamy refused to nominate Bhavani.
It is now up to HD Deve Gowda to decide on the final candidate. Already an established politician, a Rajya Sabha member and known to the election masses, the JD(S) patriarch is the only one who can make an informed and fair decision on the matter. Now it remains to be seen how the decision pans out, and whether the JD(S) can reclaim the Hassan Constituency.