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Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy defends dynastic politics

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New Delhi | Amid reports that his son and nephew may be fielded by the JD(S) in Lok Sabha polls, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday defended dynastic politics and said selection of candidates will purely depend on the winnability criteria.

Kumaraswamy, son of former prime minister and JD(S) chief Deve Gowda, said the discussion on seat sharing between his party and Congress has been completed and the final list will be announced in the next 2-3 days.

JD(S) has scaled down its demand for seats to 10 from 12 out of total 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka. Sources, however, indicated JD(S) might get only seven or eight seats.

“Anyone over 25 years can contest elections in our democratic system. It is their right. Nepotism is not an important issue. Winning elections is important. On that criteria, we will select the candidates,” Kumaraswamy told reporters after laying the foundation stone for constructing ‘Karnataka Bhavan’ with an investment of Rs 82 crore here.

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and PWD minister H D Revanna were among those present at the event.

On dynastic politics, Kumaraswamy said: “It is prevailing everywhere and I can give several examples. We have not entered politics indirectly, we have been elected by people. It is people’s decision.”

Asked about plans to field his son Nikhil Gowda and elder brother’s son Prajwal Revanna in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the Chief Minister said, “They are also Indian citizens. Everyone has right to stand in elections.”

The political situation has changed in the last eight months, he said when reminded of his statement made during 2018 assembly poll that no more members from his family will contest elections.

Asked how many more family members will contest in general elections, he said, “It will depend on party workers’ wish”.

Currently, there are six family members/relatives of Gowda in active politics in the state. Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda is MP from Hassan, his son Kumaraswamy is chief minister, while another son Revanna is PWD minister in the state cabinet.

Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha Kumaraswamy is MLA, while Revanna’s wife Bhavani Revanna is Zilla Panchayat member in Hassan, while one of the relatives D C Thammanna is Transport Minister in the state cabinet at present.

On the seat sharing agreement with Congress, Kumaraswamy said it is “almost finalised” and will be announced in the next 2-3 days.

Asked if JD(S) will agree for fewer seats, he said, “How many seats we will take and how many seats Congress will take — that is not important. What is important is how many seats we will win against BJP. Our intention is to get a¬†minimum of 22 to 24 seats. For that, we will work out.”

Sources said JD(S) might get maximum 7-8 seats including Hassan, Mandya, Uttara Kannada, Bijapur and Shimoga. Mandya seat might be given to Kumaraswamy’s son and Hassan seat to Revanna’s son, while Deve Gowda might choose either Bengaluru North or Mysuru or Tumkur seat.

“Deve Gowda has not taken a decision from where he will contest. According to me, he is not interested to contest,” Kumaraswamy observed.

The chief minister is in the national capital for next two days.

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