Karnataka Deputy CM Shivakumar hints he may contest Channapatna Assembly bypoll

PTI, Jun 19, 2024, 6:42 PM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Wednesday did not rule out the possibility of contesting the Channapatna Assembly bypoll, as he maintained that he will have to abide by the “decision” of the party and voters of the segment.

“Channapatna is in my heart. Channapatna is also the place that gave me political birth,” Shivakumar, also the state Congress chief, told reporters ahead of his visit to the town in the neighbouring Ramanagara district.

Channapatna bypoll is necessitated as the seat fell vacant following the election of its representative — JD(S) leader and now Union Minister H D Kumaraswamy — to Lok Sabha in the recent elections.

The byelection schedule for this Assembly seat is yet to be announced by the Election Commission.

“Channapatna was also part of Sathanur earlier (the erstwhile segment represented by Shivakumar). I love Channapatna, I want to help Channapatna. I want to change Channapatna,” Shivakumar said.

Asked whether his brother and former MP D K Suresh will be contesting from Channapatna, he said: “that is not decided. More or less, I’m asking the votes for myself.”

Though there were talks earlier that Suresh, who lost from Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha segment in the recent elections, may be fielded in Channapatna, speculations are now rife in political circles, especially the grand old party, that Shivakumar may enter the fray to avenge his brother’s defeat and to re-establish his clout in the region.

According to sources, if Shivakumar contests and wins from Channapatna, he may vacate the Kanakapura Assembly seat that he currently represents for Suresh.

Both Channapatna and Kanakapura are part of the Vokkaliga dominated Ramanagara district, which comes under the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha segment from where Kumaraswamy’s brother-in-law and eminent cardiologist C N Manjunath won as a BJP candidate as part of arrangement between alliance partners BJP and JD(S), by defeating Suresh.

“Channapatana gave me political birth. For four times I have won in a hobli from Channapatna that came under my Assembly constituency. People there have blessed me,” Shivakumar said.

“Even during the difficult times people (of Channapatna) have given us about 80,000 votes (in the recent Lok Sabha elections),” he said. “I have to repay the debt I owe to the people there by bringing in a change there. There is an opportunity to do more development there than what I have done in Kanakapura.”

Stating that he is visiting temples in Channapatna to offer prayers to the gods who have blessed him, Shivakumar said he will then speak to the voters there, and listen to what voters and leaders there say. “Based on that I will decide.”

On what he will do, if people want him to contest, he said: “there is no other way. I will have to listen to what my party and voters say.”
BJP MLC C P Yogeeshwara is said to be one of the probable candidates for Channapatna bypoll from BJP-JD(S) alliance.

Kumaraswamy’s actor-turned-politician son Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s name is also doing the rounds. Nikhil had lost the 2023 Assembly polls from neighbouring Ramanagara.
Kumaraswamy of JD(S) had won Channapatna in 2018 and 2023. Before that Yogeeshwara had represented the seat from BJP and Samajwadi Party. He had earlier also represented the seat both as an independent and from the Congress party.
Shivakumar has been representing the Kanakapura segment since 2008.

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