Political tensions rise in Hassan constituency ahead of polling | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Political tensions rise in Hassan constituency ahead of polling

By, Bengaluru
Apr 26, 2024 08:28 AM IST

Poornachandra Tejaswi MG, election agent of the JD(S) and BJP, has accused a person named Naveen Gowda and others of circulating the alleged videos meant to tarnish Revanna’s image.

Political tensions in Hassan district heightened as allegations of manipulated videos targeting Prajwal Revanna, the incumbent member of Parliament (MP), surfaced just two days ahead of the voting for the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka, according to people familiar with the matter.

MP Prajwal Revanna at a meeting of JD(S)-BJP workers in Arakalagud, Hassan district, ahead of LS polls (PrajwalRevanna/ X)
MP Prajwal Revanna at a meeting of JD(S)-BJP workers in Arakalagud, Hassan district, ahead of LS polls (PrajwalRevanna/ X)

The complaint filed by Poornachandra Tejaswi MG, election agent of the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has accused a person named Naveen Gowda and others of circulating the alleged videos meant to tarnish Revanna’s image.

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“Naveen Gowda and others morphed videos and images and circulated them to the voters in the Hassan Lok Sabha segment through pen drives, CDs and WhatsApp to put Prajwal Revanna in bad light. They are asking the people not to vote for him,” the FIR stated.

A senior police officer in the know of the development said that the complaint has been lodged following the circulation of manipulated videos and images across the Hassan Lok Sabha segment through various digital platforms, including pen drives, CDs, and WhatsApp.

Revanna, grandson of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and son of Holenarasipura MLA and former minister HD Revanna, is vying for a second term in office. His candidacy is challenged by Congress candidate Shreyas M Patel, grandson of former minister G Puttaswamy Gowda.

As the political battleground heats up in the Hassan district, history appears to have repeated itself as two prominent families have reignited a feud that spanned over four decades. Ahead of the elections, Prajwal Revanna stands at the forefront of this fierce rivalry as he squares off against Shreyas Patel in what promises to be a high-stakes electoral contest.

At the heart of this political showdown are the legacies of their grandfathers – former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and ex-minister G Puttaswamy Gowda – whose longstanding feud has left an indelible mark on the political landscape of Hassan district.

The political saga in the district traces back to the 1980s, marked by a series of electoral battles between the formidable families of JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda and Congress leader Puttaswamy Gowda.

In 1985, Puttaswamy Gowda, contesting as an Independent candidate, suffered defeat against Deve Gowda, a setback that was reversed in next elections.

In 1989, Puttaswamy clinched victory in the assembly election, giving a significant blow to the JD(S) patriarch. His success was further solidified in the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, cementing his political prowess in the region.

But the anti-incumbency faced by the Prajwal and the lack of support from the local leaders of the BJP makes this elections a difficult battle for the JD(S). The regional party, on multiple occasions, have complained that the local BJP leader Preetham Gowda was working against the JD(S) candidate. Even though Preetham later appeared to campaign for Prajwal, the cracks in the partnership are clearly visible in the district.

The latest episode on this front is the resignation of SK Venu Gopal, the district general secretary of the BJP in Hassan district, citing alleged pressure from Preetham Gowda to support the Congress candidate in the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency.

Venu Gopal, a stalwart member of the BJP, tendered his resignation on April 22, highlighting his refusal to endorse the Congress. “I have been with the BJP for many years. But in Hassan constituency, many BJP workers are being forced to work for the Congress. I cannot work for the Congress,” he added.

According to Muzaffar Assadi, political theorist and former professor of political science at the University of Mysuru, these videos, although came towards the fag end of the campaign, could have an influence on some voters.

“The videos have gone viral. The election was already tough here for the JD(S), this certainly makes it more challenging,” he added.

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