Hassan: JD(S) MP Shivarame Gowda's recent remarks against Sumalatha Ambareesh, widow of the late minister, who is contesting as an independent from Mandya, appear to be costing the party dearly in Hassan.
Clearly angered by his comments, Congress workers on Thursday chanted “Modi.. Modi” and distributed BJP pamphlets when KPCC vice-president B. Shivaram appealed to them to support the JD(S) in Hassan, where Mr Prajwal Revanna, grandson of JD(S) supremo, H.D. Deve Gowda,is making his electoral debut this Lok Sabha poll. Addressing the workers at the house of former legislator, C.S. Puttegowda in Channarayapatna, Mr Shivaram said their cooperation was essential to keep the BJP out of power. On hearing him, some Congress workers referred to the JD(S) MP's remarks in Mandya, particularly his reference to Ms Sumalatha's caste.
"What moral right does the JD(S) have to call itself a secular party when its MP speaks this way? It is a communal party, not the BJP," the workers said, raising chants of "Modi.. Modi!" Other Congress workers strongly objected to the seat sharing arrangement between the coalition partners, saying it was detrimental to the interests of the party. "On what grounds is the party supporting the JD(S) in Hassan?" they demanded. Confronted by the workers, Mr Shivaram had to cut short his speech and MLC, Gopalaswamy did not even get the opportunity to speak.
When contacted, Mr Gopalaswamy claimed that although a few Congressmen were unhappy with the seat sharing between the coalition partners, the disturbance at the meeting was caused by BJP workers, who had come from Hassan city to deliberately disrupt it. "Things, however, calmed down later. I am sure Prajwal will win by a margin of two lakh votes," he asserted.