A convention of the BJP workers from the Bangalore North Lok Sabha constituency on Monday witnessed a show of unity by the party leaders, including former chief minister and party candidate from the constituency D V Sadananda Gowda, sitting MP D B Chandre Gowda, former deputy chief minister R Ashoka and party national general secretary H N Ananth Kumar.
There was a tug of war between Sadananda Gowda and Ashoka with the latter seeking the ticket first for himself and then lobbying for Malleswaram MLA C N Ashwathnarayana. After much dilly-dallying, the party chose to field Gowda.
There was also a speculation in political circles that Ananth Kumar and Ashoka would not work for Gowda, lest he emerges as a parallel power centre in Bangalore, which is their stronghold. However, at the convention held at Chowdiah memorial hall, Kumar and Ashoka shared the dais with Gowda and promised to extend their support.
Gowda is said to have taken former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu into confidence and appointed him as his key strategist ahead of the polls. Katta known for his election logistics and managerial skills, was also instrumental in securing victory to Chandre Gowda in the 2009 polls.
At the convention, Sadananda Gowda was full of humility and laced his speech with humour. “I will not speak much…lest you get the impression that I am all talk and no work”, Gowda said.
Pointing out that there were 2,351 booths in the constituency, he urged the workers to take up booth-wise responsibilities. “Please give me an opportunity to be your sevak (servant) for the next five years. I will not disappoint you. Give me your next few weeks, I will give you my next five years,” Gowda said. He also made a special appeal to women party workers to campaign for him.
Gowda concluded his speech by asking the audience to repeat “Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat” after him while pumping both fists in the air, Modi style. The Congress candidate from the constituency will be known after the party’s primary which is scheduled to be held on March 13.