Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda will on Saturday hold a joint rally in KR Nagar, which is in Mysuru district but falls under the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency in Karnataka. The Mandya Lok Sabha seat has been the bone of contention between the Congress and JD(S) with Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy accusing coalition partner Congress and others of hatching a 'chakravyuha', a deadly formation in epic Mahabharata, to defeat his son and JD(S) nominee Nikhil. He lashed out at Congress and others for 'colluding' with Independent candidate and multi-lingual film actress Sumalatha, wife of late Congress leader and actor Ambareesh, in Mandya, instead of working for Nikhil.
"KR Nagar has been chosen as it abuts the other two crucial constituencies — Hassan and Mysuru — where party cadre are not whole-heatedly supporting the coalition candidates," a Congress source said as reported by The Hindu.
This is the second joint rally that Gandhi and Gowda will hold, following the Parivartan rally that both parties organised on March 31. In his speech then, Rahul Gandhi had twice asked both Congress leaders and workers to work for JD(S) candidates.
The JD(S) leadership always considered Mandya as its citadel given the huge population of dominant Vokkaliga community, which Deve Gowda belongs to, in the constituency, represented by Ambareesh for three terms. However, upsetting the equations, Sumalatha decided to contest the election from Mandya as an independent after failing to get ticket from the Congress.
The BJP is backing Sumalatha instead of fielding its candidate. There is widespread resentment within the local Congress over JDS being alloted the seat under an electoral arrangement between the coalition partners.
Disgruntled JD(S) leaders are also reportedly working against the third generation of themighty Deve Gowda clan. Deve Gowda's another grandson Prajwal Revanna, son of minister H D Revanna, is contesting from Hassan, where also a similar situation prevails with the Congress at the grassroot level openly expressing opposition to the JD(S).