This week, Karnataka politics began on a harmonious note. Even as Rahul Gandhi and JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda fronted a rally in Bangalore, their party units held joint meetings elsewhere.
Some snapshots: deep in the Cauvery basin, Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s campaign reminds people of the party’s, particularly his father CM H.D. Kumaraswamy’s, regard for farmers. With him is G.T. Deve Gowda, the JD(S) leader from Mysore who defeated former CM Siddaramaiah on his home turf last year.
Cut northwards into Hassan and “it’s like a marriage,” as district Congress committee president J.M. Manjunath puts it. Of course, it’s the first time such a nuptial is happening. “That’s politics,” he says. It’s here that HD’s other grandson, Prajwal Revanna, is standing for election.
Further north, along the winding roads of Chikmagalur, first a Congressman takes the mike and then a JD(S) leader. Pramod Madhwaraj, the coalition’s candidate here, says things have started to gel. “We’ve had so many workers' meetings but not a single whisper.”
It’s not all hunky dory, of course. It’s easier to get a Congress voter to vote for JD(S) than otherwise, confides a party worker. "So, for a joint candidate on a JD(S) ticket, things might fall into place," he adds. But again, conditions apply. In Mandya, JD(S) is concerned that some Congressmen are out to play spoiler.