Shakunis brainwashing Ravanna, says Kumaraswamy as family rift widens over Hassan seat

H D Kumaraswamy invokes the battle of Kurukshetra in the epic Mahabharata to allege that some Shakunis were trying to brainwash his brother H D Revanna, whose wife Bhavani Revanna has thrown her hat in the ring

HD Kumaraswamy hospitalised, HDK, JD(S)
Kumaraswamy has said he will participate in the election campaign again after resting, his office has said in a statement | File photo

The rift within former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda’s family over the Hassan ticket for the May 10 Assembly polls widened on Tuesday, with JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy invoking the battle of Kurukshetra in the epic Mahabharata to allege that some Shakunis were trying to brainwash his brother H D Revanna.

Speaking to reporters, he said even his father and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda was unable to convince his elder brother Revanna, a former minister, and called it “bad fortune”.

A bone of contention

The Hassan seat has become a major bone of contention, as Revanna’s wife Bhavani Revanna, who has thrown her hat in the ring, has not relented despite her brother-in-law Kumaraswamy repeatedly making it clear that she would not be fielded and instead a “loyal party worker” would be made to contest.

Bhavani Revanna is a former Hassan zilla panchayat member. She has the backing of her husband as well as their sons Prajwal, who is a member of the Lok Sabha from Hassan, and Suraj Revanna, an MLC.

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Kumaraswamy reiterated that his clear stand was that a party worker should be given a ticket in Hassan and that there was no question of any compromise on this.

“I had said one-and-half years ago itself that to defeat the BJP candidate in Hassan, a member of our family need not become a candidate. The party has the courage to fight the election by fielding an ordinary party worker from Hassan.”

Kumaraswamy said, “There are Shakunis (the character in the epic Mahabharata) in Hassan, to ruin the family…Shakunis disturb the mind. Why did the Kurukshetra war happen, it is because of Shakuni’s conduct. This is the history of this soil and such things have happened all along in this country.”

Shakunis were not in the family but were from other parties and they came in the form of those who claim to be “fans and wellwishers”, he clarified, and said, “The Shakunis from morning till evening have brainwashed (Revanna and family), I know what is going on.”

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In a message directed at his brother and family, the JD(S) legislature party leader said, “If you try to nurture those pretending to be well-wishers of the Deve Gowda family but in reality have an intention to finish it off, what can I do?”

Responding to a question about Deve Gowda trying to convince Revanna, he said, “He tried, but Deve Gowda too doesn’t have the strength to convince Revanna today. It is our bad fortune, what to do?”

With signs of a rift in the family owing to the Hassan ticket issue, Gowda, who has not been actively involved in political activities for some time now due to age-related ailments, recently held discussions with his two sons and Bhavani together, which however failed to break the deadlock.

Both Kumaraswamy and Revanna have since been maintaining that Gowda’s word would be final on the Hassan ticket issue.

“No question of prestige or ego”

Stating that Revanna has not contacted him till now on the subject, Kumaraswamy said, Revanna “somewhere seems to be under a fear on this issue; he has to convince me regarding the grounds for (Bhavani’s) contest”.

“I have said what my stand is a number of times. The ticket should be given to a party worker. For about four-and-a-half months now I have been working for 17 hours a day to bring this party to power independently, without caring about my health. God has to give better sense to those attempting to cause hindrance in achieving the target,” he said.

Stating that there was no question of prestige or ego between him and Revanna, he said, “I am saying what I am saying based on the ground reality, with an intention that the party should win. If selfishness is more important than the party, I cannot do anything.”

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Hassan is the home district of Deve Gowda, and the party in 2018 Assembly polls had won in six out of seven segments other than the Hassan Assembly seat, which BJP’s Preetham Gowda clinched, making it the first ever win for the saffron party in the Vokkaliga dominated district.

Meanwhile, Revanna met Deve Gowda in Bengaluru last night. Speaking to reporters in Hassan on Tuesday, he said, “I have said what I have to, to Deve Gowda. Whatever he decides is final, it is left to him. He knows this district’s politics for six decades.”

Refraining from commenting on the Shakuni remarks of his brother and about him not paying heed to their father’s advice on the issue, he said, “Deve Gowda is our supreme leader…I have always abided by him and his words in the past and will continue to do so in the future too…..Unnecessary things are going on in the media.”

He also said he wanted JDS to win all seven seats in Hassan district, and “Kumaranna” (Kumaraswamy) to become CM.

(With Agency inputs)