Congress banks on women power to defeat Gowda clan

April 23rd, 2008 - 10:08 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore, April 23 (IANS) The Congress has fielded women candidates to take on two sons of former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader H.D. Deve Gowda in the Karnataka assembly polls, apparently going by the popular belief that the Gowda clan cannot defeat a woman opponent. Mamatha Nichani, daughter of late chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde, is pitted against Gowda’s younger son H.D. Kumaraswamy in Ramanagara constituency, about 50 km from Bangalore. Kumaraswamy’s elder brother and former power minister H.D. Revanna will face S.G. Anupama in Holenarsipur in Gowda’s home district Hassan, around 180 km from here.

Both assembly segments will see balloting in the first phase of the election May 10.

The belief that women can defeat the Gowda family members got strengthened as Deve Gowda lost the 2004 Lok Sabha poll to Tejaswinii Sri Ramesh of the Congress. Gowda had contested from Hassan as well but won that seat.

There was speculation till Wednesday afternoon that Kumaraswamy may contest from Channapatna constituency adjoining Ramanagara also because of the Congress decision to field a woman candidate against him.

However, Kumaraswamy said he will stick to Ramanagara and does not believe in astrological prediction that his family members have no hopes of winning against a woman.

Wednesday was the last day for filing of nominations for the first phase of polls to be held in 89 of the 224 constituencies.

Mamatha, the eldest daughter of Hegde, was active in the political outfits floated by her father. She joined the Congress about two years back and this will be her first election. She is married to a businessman and runs a travel agency.

Anupama is the daughter-in-law of the late Congress leader of Hassan, G. Puttaswamy Gowda, who had defeated Deve Gowda twice, once in an assembly contest and once in a Lok Sabha battle.

The second and third phase of polling is on May 16 and May 22. Counting of votes will take place May 25.

Contrary to expectation, former Congress chief minister S.M. Krishna, who returned to state politics after resigning as the Maharashtra governor, has decided not to contest.

There was speculation in political circles that he may be fielded from his home constituency Maddur, about 70 km from Bangalore. He is now the chairman of the party’s campaign coordination committee.

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