A tweet by the former chief minister, HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday has confirmed what many have been suspecting. The relations between a section of the Congress and the first family of JDS has once again soured but the same is not true for DK Shivakumar.
‘Gowri Ganesha is an important festival for Hindus. Mr. @DKShivakumar had asked for a day to observe the festival. However, ED officials denied him even this. If this is not vindictive attitude, then what is?’ tweeted Kumaraswamy on Sunday, strongly advocating for his former cabinet colleague.
This tweet cements suspicion that the Vokkaliga leaders continue their amenity even as political fortunes in Karnataka have changed back to the pre-2018 paradigm.
Ever since the coalition government fell in Karnataka, there has been ambiguity about the future alliance of JDS and Congress. While senior leaders had not ruled out the continuity of the two parties’ friendship, they had also not confirmed the same. War of words between former prime minister Devegowda and his protege Siddaramiah last week indicated that the political rivalry could have returned.
But another senior leader of the Congress party, DK Shivakumar has repeatedly displayed his congeniality towards both Devegowda and his son. He has also repeated that his political target is BJP and Yediyurappa and that he will not attack the Gowdas.
During the prolonged trust vote proceeding in Karnataka assembly, when the rebel Congress MLAs started their mutiny, DK Shivakumar was spirited in attempting to bring them back against all odds. At the cost of getting arrested, DK Shivakumar has attempted to persuade the legislators who were holed up in the Mumbai hotel, by attempting to seek a personal audience with them to get them to change their minds.
Shivakumar too has had political conflicts with the Gowdas in his home district of Ramanagara; he made his mark in politics by being a giant slayer-defeating Devegowda in his bastion of Kanakapura in 1989. Since then, there has been a contest of strength between the Gowdas and Dk Brother, both Shivakumara and his brother Suresh, over dominance of the district. But the animus seems to have been left far behind, the reasons being multifold.
Many believe that with Devegowda being at the last phase of his political career, the vacuum he might leave behind as a leader of the strong Vokkaliga community is being eyed by DKS. while Devegowda’s son, HD Kumaraswamy is already vying hard for that space, with the political fortunes of their party, JDS, dwindling as it has, DKS fancies his chances as emerging as the tallest leader of the community which holds the second-largest vote bank in the state. Not antagonising the Gowdas might be part of that larger plot.
A supplementary reason could be Congress party’s internal power battle between Siddaramiah and DK Shivakumar. The Gowdas would prefer the triumph of DKS in the struggle, to settle scores with Siddaramiah.
Sources in Devegowda residence have told Republic that just after the Karnataka High Court order regarding DKS’ ED summons on Thursday, he visited the former prime minister whose guidance he sought on matters legal and political. This visit is indicative of the shifting pattern of the political landscape of Old Mysuru Region.