While Kumaraswamy is ‘under pressure’ to name candidates, Gowda is opposed to it
With just two days left for filing nominations for the byelections to the Shikaripur, Chikkodi-Sadalaga and Bellary (ST) Assembly segments, the Janata Dal (Secular) is in a dilemma.
While party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda is opposed to fielding candidates, the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is “under pressure” from party workers to name candidates.
According to sources, the party has “almost” decided against entering the fray.
Both Mr. Gowda and Mr. Kumaraswamy, who are attributing fund crunch as the reason for the decision, are of the opinion that the byelection victory will not change the political equations in the State.
Mr. Gowda told presspersons here on Thursday that there was no need for the party to contest in the byelections. It was not the question of victory or defeat. There were probable candidates in all the three constituencies who could take on the two national parties. But the party was not in a position to fund their expenditure, he said.
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party were ready to spend huge sums of money because it was a prestige issue for them to win the elections, Mr. Gowda said.
“Mr. Kumaraswamy may differ with my opinion. But … I am suggesting against fielding any candidates,” Mr. Gowda said.
At the same time, Mr. Gowda ruled out extending support to either the Congress or the BJP.
Mr. Kumaraswamy said party workers were upbeat to face the elections. Leaders could not take unilateral decisions on fielding candidates. Not contesting the elections would demoralise the cadres, he said. Party had a potential candidate for Shikaripur, but it was not right to field candidate in only one constituency when the byelections were being held in three segments.
On efforts being made to revitalise the party, Mr. Gowda said steps were being taken to organise the party from gram panchayat level in view of upcoming elections to local bodies. Party legislators and leaders would form teams and tour the State. A convention of “committed” party workers would be held here soon, he said.