Gathbandhan politics trickles to villages – Economic Times


By Bhanutej N

KORATAGERE: Krishnamurthy of Kurubarahalli and Girish of Kuramkote await HD Deve Gowda’s arrival at the Government Junior College grounds in Koratagere for an election rally. The two farmers did not see eye to eye, politically, until a couple of weeks ago. In fact, in the 2018 assembly election, Krishnamurthy worked for JDS candidate Sudhakar Lal while Girish worked for Congress candidate G Parameshwara, who won and became the state’s deputy chief minister.

Gowda’s candidature from the Tumkur Lok Sabha seat has brought them together in an unlikely alliance. They have set aside Koratagere-level rivalries, at least for the time being, and are allowing Tumkur and national politics into their view. Their awareness of national politics, particularly their critique of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is remarkably well-informed.

Girish, who is also a gram panchayat member, has a litany of issues with Gowda’s candidature. Every Congressman here does. Yet, they are all backing the 86-year-old former PM, who decided to pick Tumkur after leaving his seat – Hassan – for his grandson Prajwal Revanna.

They are willing to forgive Gowda, for “denying” Hemavathy river waters to their droughtprone district. They don’t seem to care about his family’s overwhelming presence in politics. Why, they are even alright with their favourite parliamentarian — Muddahanume Gowda, who won in 2014 — being denied the Congress ticket (although “a few” are still smarting from the blow).


Few thought that the Congress-JD(S) alliance, effected through handshakes at the top-most levels of both parties, could trickle down to the taluk and village levels. “Don’t be mistaken. We have a lot of problems with Gowda. But let him take it. It is the old man’s last election,” said Girish.

Clearly, Congress leaders in the district seem to have worked overtime to keep the alliance in play. In Koratagere at least, it has worked wonders. Parameshwara’s speech said it all.

Parameshwara, for whom accepting a secondary role in the coalition government has been a difficult pill to swallow, was doing his high command’s bidding, and more. “He (Gowda) never wanted to. Muddahanume Gowda and I convinced him to contest here,” he said, without batting an eyelid. Coming as it did from their own MLA, and the second most powerful man, the huge gathering seemed to accept it.

Gowda’s speech itself was far from focused as he moved from 1960 to the present election, which he said is his last. “I don’t need to speak of my achievements,” he said, but added that he was the only politician to have resigned twice from a minister’s post on the issue of irrigation. He said Modi is an “insult” to the PM’s chair, and that Congress president Rahul Gandhi exceeded his expectations.



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