Mysuru: K Harish Gowda, former City Janata Dal(Secular) President, announced that he will file his nomination papers as an independent candidate from the Chamaraja Constituency on April 18. With this announcement he has ended the speculation of him joining the Congress, BJP or even going back to JD(S).
Harish Gowda, who is yet to get the official communication from the JD(S) party about his expulsion from the party or as a city JD(S) president said, “After seeing the work of former Prime Minister H D Devegowda and former Chief Minister H D Kumarswamy, I resigned from my government job in 2008 and entered politics by joining the JD(S). Since then, I had received the support of the senior JD(S) leaders. But, in December 2016, rumours of K S Rangappa, who was the vice chancellor then, contesting from the Chamaraja constituency started circulating. During the ‘Kumara Parva’ road campaign on November 19, H Vishwanath, who recently joined JD(S) party, announced that K S Rangappa is the JD(S) candidate from Chamaraja constituency. Hence, my supporters told me to contest in the elections as an independent candidate. I don’t want to speak ill about any party or leaders. God and the people will give a fitting reply to them.”
In preparation for the assembly elections, Harish has been visiting the residences of the people living in the 22 wards of the Chamaraja Constituency, on foot for the past two months. Though he was invited by almost all parties including the Congress, BJP and even the JD (S), Harish Gowda decided to contest as an independent candidate. The move of the rebel JD(S) candidate is expected to snatch a good number of votes from the JD(S) party.
Vasu, sitting MLA from the Chamaraja Constituency said, “In the last five years, I had taken up various development works worth more than Rs 1700 Crore such as construction of roads, setting up of much needed hospitals including Jayadeva Hospital, trauma care and district hospitals. Apart from this, the much needed new building for Maharani's College was also constructed. Over the last five years, I have been with the people and introduced and helped them understand the various government schemes. Going by all this, I am sure the people will definitely vote for us.” Regarding Harish Gowda contesting the elections as an independent he said, “He will garner his votes while I will get my own votes.”
K S Rangappa, JD(S)'s candidate from the Chamaraja constituency said, “Any number of independent candidates can contest the election in the democratic set up and Harish Gowda is one among them. During my campaign in Chamaraja constituency, I have received overwhelming response from the voters and I don’t think Harish Gowda contesting as an independent candidate will have any impact on me. Wherever I go, I get good response. With the works of H D Devegowda and H D Kumaraswamy, I am confident that the people will vote for JD(S) and ensure its victory in the constituency.”
The BJP however, is yet to finalise its candidates for the Chamaraja Constituency. There are more than five aspirants from the party including former MUDA Chairman L Nagendra, who unsuccessfully contested in the last assembly election, and C Basave Gowda, former University of Mysore Senate member Jayaprakash, City BJP President Dr. B H Manjunath, Corporator Nandeesh Preetham who is also the son of former MLA Shankaralingegowda, who was MLA for four consecutive terms from the Chamaraja constituency before Congress candidate Vasu defeated him when he contested from the JD (S) ticket in the previous election.
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