Bengaluru: Prajwal Revanna, the 28-year-old son of Karnataka revenue minister H.D. Revanna and lone successful Janata Dal (Secular) candidate from the state in the just-concluded parliamentary elections, has offered to step down and give his seat to his grandfather and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda.
The offer comes a day after 87-year-old Deve Gowda was defeated by G.S. Basavaraj of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tumakuru (Tumkur) by a margin of 13,339 votes.
“To reinstate faith within the JD(S) cadre and fill up that void, we must bring him back. For this, in front of Deve Gowda and with the blessings of the people, leaders and workers of the party, I am taking this decision to resign," Prajwal said in Hassan, about 190 kilometres from Bengaluru.
The ‘sacrifice’ by Prajwal will propel him to be seen as the natural political heir of Deve Gowda, who had already declared that this was going to be his last elections as he would be 91 in 2024, and age might not permit him another chance. Prajwal’s stepping down may come as some solace to chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, whose son Nikhil lost to Sumalatha Amarnath (Sumalatha Ambareesh) in Mandya, believed to be a bastion of the JD(S), by a margin of over 1.25 lakhs.
But the mantle of the party may have just been decided with Prajwal’s decision.
Deve Gowda had given up his home seat of Hassan to Prajwal. After Deve Gowda gave up his seat, Kumaraswamy rushed to field his own actor son, Nikhil, in the hope of retaining the edge within the family, which had been embroiled in a bitter battle for dominance.
A confident Deve Gowda then chose to fight from neighbouring Tumakuru — a populace that held him personally responsible for denying them water and diverting it all to his earlier constituency of Hassan, which the octogenarian represented several times in his over five-decade long political career.
Deve Gowda’s decision to contest from Tumakuru had also displaced incumbent, high performing and popular Congress member of Parliament S.P. Muddahanumegowda, adding to the simmering anger of the local workers.
The JD(S) and the Congress had decided to extend its state-level alliance to parliamentary elections and fight Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi-led BJP at the Centre. But the JD(S) and the Congress, which share a bitter and bloody past, were unable to get their workers to reconcile with each other, thereby ending up conceding more seats to the BJP.
The BJP won a record 25 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats from Karnataka. The party backed Sumalatha, who won in Mandya. The drubbing by the BJP reduced the Congress and the JD(S) with just one seat each from nine and two, respectively, in 2014.