As the Legislative Assembly elections are fast approaching, the Chamundeshwari Assembly Constituency in Mysuru district is all set to hog the limelight with past rivals expected to face one another making it an epic battle. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who claimed that he would contest from Chamundeshwari constituency is all set to face his rival and former minister GT Deve Gowda, the other Deve Gowda in the JD(S).
Four-time JD(S) legislator GT Deve Gowda has challenged Siddaramaiah to face him in the Chamundeshwari constituency. "I will contest against Siddaramaiah from the Chamundewhari constituency in the next Assembly elections. If there is anyone who can stand up to Siddaramaiah, it is GT Deve Gowda and I have taken up the challenge," Deve Gowda had told reporters in Mysuru.
Brushing aside rumours of him quitting the JD(S) to join Congress, the former minister claimed that he does not intend to join Congress. He blamed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his party members of spreading false rumours of him quitting the JD(S).
It may be recalled here that Siddaramaiah too had last week stated that Chamundeshwari and Varuna constituencies (both in Mysuru district) were like his eyes and he would do anything to take care of these constituencies. He had also stated that 2018 would be his last elections and he would end his political journey from the same constituency.
In fact, GT Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah belonged to the same family - both came from JD(S). Siddaramaiah who was in good books of party Supremo HD Deve Gowda had risen to become the deputy chief minister in the then Congress-JD(S) coalition government in 2004. Dharam Singh was the chief minister. Many claimed that it was Deve Gowda who favoured Dharam Singh for the CM's post ignoring Siddaramaiah's ambitions.
However, Siddaramaiah soon fell out with Deve Gowda after he participated in the Alpasankhyataru Hindulidavaru mattu Dalitaru or popularly known as AHINDA movement. Ahinda had become a trump card for Siddaramaiah as the movement was all about strengthening minorities, backward communities and Dalits. Irked by him, Deve Gowda had expelled Siddaramaiah from the party.
But as luck would have it, Siddaramaiah who was known as the anti-Congress man until then, came around and joined Congress and rest is history. It was around this time Mysuru region's prominent Vokkaliga leader GT Deve Gowda gained importance in the JD(S). JD(S) national president HD Deve Gowda promoted GT Deve Gowda to defeat Siddaramaiah, his arch-rival. Thus Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency set the battle between Siddaramaiah and GT Deve Gowda.
While CM Siddaramaiah has won twice from Chamundeshwari constituency, GT Deve Gowda too has tasted success from the constituency. Although he had switched to Hunsur constituency, he is presently the JD(S) MLA from Chamundeshwari constituency.
In the meantime, GT Deve Gowda had briefly joined BJP after he was reportedly sidelined by the 'father-son' in the party only to come back to his 'home'.
While Siddaramaiah has now ironed out his differences with former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, he reportedly shares cold vibes with GT Deve Gowda.
With rivals once again expected to face each other in the upcoming Assembly elections and Siddaramaiah declaring it his last election, the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency has all the elements of becoming the high-profile constituency.