Bangalore: In a big blow to the ruling coalition in Karnataka, JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda was defeated in Tumkur constituency by his BJP rival by a margin of over 13,000 votes, the Election Commission said Thursday. GS Basavaraj secured 5,96,127 votes while Gowda got 5,82,788votes, according to the EC details.
The fight in Tumkur was also seen as battle between – Lingayats and Vokkaligas – two dominant communities in Karnataka to which both Basavaraj and Gowda belong.
Gowda, the joint candidate of ruling Congress-JDS coalition, chose to contest from Tumkur at the last minute, after vacating Hassan-his home tuft, to grandson Prajwal Revanna.
It is also said Gowda, who had indicated about his retirement from electoral politics, reluctantly decided to contest, due to pressure from the party workers.
Congress had ceded Tumkur seat to JD(S) as per the seat sharing arrangement, denying ticket to sitting MP Muddahanumegowda, causing resentment within the party.
Even though Muddahanumegowda, who had filed his nomination as a rebel had withdrawn his papers, there were doubts regarding Congress’ complete support to Gowda as many still considered him as an outsider.
There were 15 candidates in the fray from Tumkur Lok Sabha seat which went to on April 18. While for Gowda it was his first electoral battle from the constituency, Basavaraj had represented the seat in Lok Sabha in the past – thrice from Congress and once from BJP.
Basavaraj was defeated by Muddahanumegowda in 2014 Lok Sabha polls by a margin of over 74,000 votes.