Even as a troll war has broken out on the social media between the supporters of district (city) JD(S) president K Harish Gowda and former VC of the University of Mysore (UoM) K S Rangappa for the Party ticket from Chamaraja Assembly constituency, the latter has convened a meeting of party workers at Hebbal in the city on Sunday.
The meeting will be held on a ground at Vishwamanava Circle in Hebbal at 5.30 pm.
Rangappa has claimed that former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, state president H D Kumaraswamy and all JD(S) MLAs, MLCs and leaders from Mysuru district, including former MP A H Vishwanath, will participate in the meeting.
He has also announced that the party office will be inaugurated on Gokulam Main Road and the party workers will take out a motorbike rally from the party office to the programme venue. As many as 1,000 motorbikes and 300 autorickshaws will be taken out in a procession, he has said.
While Harish Gowda is with the JD(S) since his college days, Rangappa joined the party only recently, since his retirement as VC of the UoM in January this year. Earlier, he had also served as the VC of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU). However, Rangappa is relative to the Deve Gowda family. His son Shobit is married to a granddaughter of Deve Gowda. She is the daughter of Anasuya and Dr C N Manjunath couple.
Harish is also an ex-employee of the UoM. He had secured a job in the UoM on compensatory grounds, following the demise of his father. He quit the job after serving for 16 years and became a full-time party activist. Gradually, he rose to become the city (district) unit president last year. He was an aspirant of the party ticket in the 2013 polls also.
However, the late H S Shankaralingegowda of the JD(S), a new entrant from the BJP, was pitted against Vasu of the Congress in the 2013 Assembly polls. Vasu trounced the JD(S) by 41,930 – 29,015 votes respectively.
Rangappa, who managed to establish the right contacts, has managed to almost get the party ticket for the upcoming polls. Chamaraja, created in 1978, is one of the constituencies where the JD(S) can win as it is a predominantly Vokkaliga populated constituency.
The erstwhile Janata Party had won the 1978, 1983, and 1985 general elections and 1986 bypolls. A bypoll was also necessitated in 1978 due to the death of then MLA K Puttaswamy. So, the Congress clinched the constituency through B N Kengegowda. Again in 1989, the Congress won through K Harsha Kumar Gowda. In four elections in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2008, H S Shankaralingegowda of the BJP was favoured by the voters. So, no Janata parivar MLA has represented the constituency since 1989.
Harish Gowda said, he has organised the party from the grassroots-level and has been holding public functions in the constituency, which did not have a Janata parivar leader for three decades. “At least as the city president, the meeting should be held under my leadership. But I have not even received an invitation,” he said.
Rangappa said it was not proper to say that the city president has not been invited. “The invitation has been extended,” he said.
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