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Hassan Seat Clash Adds New Chapter In HD Devegowda And Puttaswamy Gowda Family Rivalry

The Congress is hoping to make a comeback in Hassan Lok Sabha seat in the upcoming elections through its nominee Shreyas Patel, a grandson of former Member of Parliament G Puttaswamy, a bete noire of former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda. Hasan parliamentary seat has been dominated by the family members of Janata Dal Secular (JDS) national president and former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda who has represented the seat five times. Devegowda won Hassan Lok Sabha seat in 1991, 1998, 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections.

The last time the Congress nominee had won Hassan seat was in 1999 when G. Puttaswamy Gowda, grandfather of Shreyas Patel trounced JDS nominee and former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda in the 1999 election.

Devegowda sacrificed the Hassan seat for his grandson Prajwal in 2019 and JDS retained the seat through Prajwal. Now, Prajwal is the JDS-Bharatiya Janata Party consensus nominee in the ensuing polls and his nearest rival in the fray is Shreyas Patel, a former Zilla Panchayat member.

The families of Devegowda and Puttaswamy Gowda have been engaged in electoral battles in Hassan for close to 40 years both in Assembly and parliamentary polls. Once friends-H.D. Devegowda and Puttaswamy later turned foes and faced each other in 1985 Holenarsipura Assembly election. Then H.D. Devegowda defeated his nearest rival Puttaswamy Gowda. In 1989 Holenarsipura Assembly election, Gowda made a strong comeback and defeated Devegowda.

Again, Puttaswamy Gowda and H.D. Devegowda came face to face in 1999 Hassan parliamentary election where Puttaswamy Gowda of the Congress party defeated H.D. Devegowda, a JDS nominee.

In 1994 Assembly elections held for Holenarsipur seat, Puttaswamy Gowda of the Congress was defeated by H.D. Revanna, a Janata Dal nominee and son of former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda and in 2004 elections, Revanna as a Janata Dal Secular nominee again defeated Puttaswamy Gowda of the Congress party from the seat.

Later, Revanna of Janata Dal Secular was challenged by Anupama, daughter-in-law of Puttaswamy Gowda in Holenarsipur seat in 2008 and 2013, and she ended up losing in both the contests against JDS nominee.

However, Shreyas Patel, grandson of Puttaswamy Gowda contested against H.D. Revanna in the 2023 Assembly poll in Holenarsipur seat and he lost to Revanna but managed to reduce the victory margin of Revanna considerably. Revanna polled 88, 103 votes while Shreyas secured 84, 951 votes.

JDS-BJP nominee Prajwal had to face initial opposition from BJP leaders who insisted that the ticket be given to BJP nominee and later wanted a change of nominee. But, things were settled and Prajwal was made the BJP-JDS consensus nominee.

A BJP functionary of Hassan stated that though alliance has been forged at the national and State level but the coordination between JDS and BJP has been lacking at the district level.

“It is very difficult for the BJP workers to convince voters to cast their votes for the JDS-BJP consensus nominee,” said the functionary and added that even workers have to work for the success of the consensus nominee reluctantly.

Another BJP functionary said he and his team had been working for Prajwal only with the intention of taking the BJP seat tally to 400 seats. A JDS leader said there has been good response to Prajwal in the seat and JDS having firm roots in the segment will help him win.

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