The stage has been set for G.T. Deve Gowda, former Minister and JD(S) MLA, to share the dais with former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency on November 9.
The coming together of Mr. Siddaramaiah and Mr. Gowda on the same platform, even before the latter’s formal entry into the Congress fold, assumes political significance in the region and provides a throwback to the pre-2006 days of the JD(S) when both the leaders were in the same party.
In a fierce face-off between the JD(S) and Congress during the 2018 Assembly elections in Chamundeshwari, Mr. Gowda had famously trounced Mr. Siddaramaiah.
Mr. Gowda, who has been maintaining a distance from the JD(S) leadership ever since the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition more than two years ago, has confirmed his participation in the inauguration of the Dr B.R. Ambedkar Bhavan in Hinkal as well as the inauguration of Kenchappa Community Hall in Kergalli, both in Chamundeshwari constituency, to be attended by Mr. Siddaramaiah on November 9.
Mr .Gowda told reporters that he had been invited by the organisers of the two programmes in Chamundeshwari constituency and he had consented to participate.
Though Mr. Gowda said he and Mr. Siddaramaiah had shared the dais in programmes in the constituency when the latter was the Chief Minister and he was an MLA, the two foe-turned-friends will be seen together on the same stage for the first time since the 2018 Assembly elections.
Mr. Gowda has already made public his plans to join the Congress, but the JD(S) has been making overtures to the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency MLA to stay put in the party. JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s meeting with Mr. Gowda’s son Harish Gowda at Chamundeshwari Temple atop Chamundi Hills has been interpreted as part of the efforts of the JD(S) to retain Mr. Gowda in the party.
Mr. Gowda did not find it hard to justify his absence from the programmes in Chamundeshwari constituency attended by Mr. Kumaraswamy in the recent past even though he is technically in the JD(S). He claimed that he had no invitation to the programmes attended by Mr. Kumaraswamy whereas he had been invited to the events where Mr. Siddaramaiah, who is the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader, is participating in on November 9.
Meanwhile, political observers recall the pre-2006 days of the JD(S) when Mr. Gowda and Mr. Siddaramaiah were in the same party along with leaders like former Minister H.C. Mahadevappa and former MLA representing Periyapatna K. Venkatesh. Even though many leaders had followed Mr. Siddaramaiah into the Congress, Mr. Gowda had remained steadfast in his support to the JD(S). The entry of Mr. Gowda also into the Congress fold is expected to give the party a major shot in the arm in Mysuru region.