Tag: HD Deve Gowda

The IT raid that wasn’t on Deve Gowda’s family temple

IT_Raid

India is in the thick of the poll season. And arguably the rumour mills and fake news factories are busy churning out stories, which seem credible for a while, with specific targets in mind. Sometimes, politicians (or their strategists) come up with innovative ideas, such as manufacturing incidents, to make the stories more credible. Is the latest “IT raid” on the family temple of former prime minister Deve Gowda  a case in point for this kind of ingenuity?

This is how the story around the “raid” unfolded. Two IT officials swooped down on the residence of Prakash Bhat, the priest in the Shiva Temple at Haradanahalli village in Hassan district. Prakash reportedly told the media that the “sleuths” asked him to show where the cash was kept.

“They said they had information about a huge stash of cash kept in the cartons in my house. And they searched every corner for 40 minutes and returned empty-handed,” he was quoted as saying.

Incidentally, Haradanahalli is the village that JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda hails from. It is said that Lord Shiva (Ishwara) at the temple is his family deity and no important work in the family takes place without first paying obeisance to Ishawara God.

As the news started making rounds, the IT department released a statement denying the raid. “The attention of the Income Tax department in Karnataka-Goa has been drawn to reports in social media that IT officials have checked the house of the family priest and temple of a prominent political leader. No such search/ checking/verification of any sort has been done by the I-T department in Karnataka. It is unfortunate that media persons connected to reputed media houses are spreading such unfounded stories without any attempt at verification,” the statement said.

However, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, son of Deve Gowda, lost no time picking up the “raid” and lashing out at the BJP for “hurting Hindu sentiments”.

“They have not even spared the sanctum sanctorum of our family deity, Lord Ishwara, during the raid. For this, the deity will decimate Narendra Modi-led BJP. IT officials even raided the priest’s house. HD Deve Gowda’s family has the grace of the deity, and it will destroy the BJP across the country,” Kumaraswamy roared during a poll campaign in another district, Tumkur.

JDS alliance partner Congress too jumped in to do its bit. The official handle of KPCC president put out this tweet:

Amid all the brouhaha, the local police said they were not aware of any raid. “Usually, officials inform local police about such raids as we provide security. We received no such information on I-T raids in any part of the district,” The New Indian Express quoted Chetan Singh Rathore, Superintendent of Police, Hassan, as saying.

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Karnataka: Deve Gowda, two grandsons face rebellion from ally Congress

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Prajwal Gowda, Deve Gowda and Nikhil Kumar (Credit: Star of Mysore)

Former prime minister and JDS supremo Deve Gowda filed his nomination on Monday to contest the Tumkur Lok Sabha Constituency as the joint candidate of Congress-JDS alliance. However, sitting Member of Parliament from the constituency SP Muddahanumegowda also filed his nomination as “Congress candidate”.

On Sunday, Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara had appealed to Muddahanumegowda to follow the “coalition dharma” and support Deve Gowda’s candidature. After filing his nomination, however, Muddahanumegowda said: “I request my leader and JD(S) to reconsider their decision and give me the ticket to contest from Tumkur. I am confident that I will get back the seat.”

Besides Deve Gowda, his two grandsons are also in poll fray for the April-May general elections. Nikhil Kumar, the son of his younger son and chief minister HD Kumarswamy, is contesting from Mandya parliamentary constituency, while Prajwal Gowda, the son of his elder son and Minister of Public Works Department HD Revanna, is fighting from Hassan constituency.

However, like the 85-year-old grandfather the two debutante politicians from the family are also facing rebellion from the alliance partner Congress.

In Hassan, Congress leader A Manju joined the BJP  afew days ago and became saffron party’s candidate to fight against Prajwal Gowda.

Manju is claiming the support of his erstwhile party leaders and workers.

Similarly, in Mandya, Sumalatha Ambareesh, the wife of former Congress leader (and a three-time MP from the constituency) late Ambareesh, has entered the poll fray as an Independent candidate. She is said to be eliciting a lot of support from Congress’s rank and file.

The development is seen as Congress’s revolt against an effort to turn these constituencies as family bastions by Deve Gowda and his descendants.