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With Deve Gowda grandson Suraj’s electoral debut, family now 2nd to Nehru-Gandhis as a dynasty

Suraj Revanna, doctor son of former PM Deve Gowda's son HD Revanna, has filed nomination for MLC polls. He is set to be eighth member of family to be elected representative.

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Bengaluru: Former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) has long faced barbs about being a dynasty-driven party, and these are only getting sharper as another of his grandsons is about to make his political debut. 

Suraj Revanna, son of JD(S) MLA and former Karnataka minister H.D. Revanna, the elder son of Deve Gowda, has filed his nomination to contest the upcoming Karnataka Legislative Council polls.

The biennial election to 25 seats in the upper house of the bicameral legislature from local authorities constituencies is scheduled to be held on 10 December. Elected members of local bodies like municipal corporations, gram panchayats and town panchayats across 20 districts are voters in the election.

After he filed his nomination Friday, Suraj, a doctor, is all set to be the eighth member of the Deve Gowda clan — over three generations — to enter electoral politics in Karnataka. This makes the Deve Gowda family second only to the Nehru-Gandhis in terms of the number of members across generations who have been in active politics.

“Local leaders in Hassan opined that he should be the party’s candidate,” T. Sharavana, spokesperson and former MLC of JD(S), told ThePrint.

Also read: JD(S) wins even when it doesn’t. And Karnataka BJP & Congress can’t seem to do anything about it

‘Not a father-sons’ party’

Deve Gowda himself addressed the dynasty question in a meeting with party workers in Hassan on 12 November.

This is not a father-sons’ party. The opinion of MLAs, aspirants and party workers will be collected before announcing the name of the candidate,” the former PM and chief minister of Karnataka reportedly said. Subsequently, grandson Suraj was chosen as the candidate.

Infographic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Infographic: Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

Suraj’s father, Revanna, is a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. His mother, Bhavani Revanna, is a former zilla panchayat member from Hassan. Suraj himself is a director of the Hassan District Central Cooperative bank. Both Suraj and his mother Bhavani Revanna were in the running for the MLC ticket. 

Suraj’s uncle and aunt — H.D. Kumaraswamy and Anita Kumaraswamy — are current members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. Kumaraswamy has been chief minister twice, both times in a coalition government.  

Suraj’s younger brother Prajwal Revanna was elected Lok Sabha MP from Hassan in 2019. Their cousin Nikhil Kumaraswamy contested unsuccessfully from Mandya Lok Sabha constituency in 2019. Nikhil and Prajwal both made their debut in electoral politics in 2019, but have been official members of the JD(S) for years. Nikhil is also the JD(S) youth wing president.

Sources in the JD(S) suggest that discontent against the party’s decision to give tickets to Deve Gowda’s family members had reached a crescendo in 2019, when Nikhil and Prajwal were given tickets to contest Mandya and Hassan Lok Sabha seats.

(Edited by Saikat Niyogi)

Also read: How Karnataka Congress plans to use Mekedatu to ‘expose BJP’s double engine growth’ promise


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