New Delhi: It's a battle for survival for Karnataka's first political family. After having suffered an exodus of senior leaders, the campaign has been left to the Gowda patriarch and his two sons H D Kumaraswamy and H D Revanna.
It is Kumaraswamy who is drawing the crowds, selling development dreams and spearheading the campaign.
He knows it's a crucial game of staying politically relevant. If the Janata Dal (Secular) is reduced to less than 25 seats, there is little chance to arm-twist bigger parties like last time.
Kumaraswamy puts up a brave front and says he'll get a majority on his own. “I have full confidence that this time around, people will vote for the JD(S),” he said.
In the Gowda fiefdom in Hassan district, H D Revanna is playing on Vokkaliga sentiments. The Gowdas began their politics here and Deve Gowda is almost deified by the community.
Revanna too sounds politically correct and insists that JD(S) will reach the majority mark alone.
But that these are tall claims was proven when Gowda blurted out the truth in an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN.
In a candid admission, Gowda has said that he'd wait to be approached by the bigger parties, either the BJP or the Congress, whichever emerges the largest single party after the Karnataka poll results.
“It depends on how they come forward to seek support from us. I cannot rush,” he told CNN-IBN.
It means that Gowda will wait after the results are announced. If he has enough, he will wait to be approached by whoever is first past the post, the BJP or the Congress.
He will then begin his bargaining as he did last time in 2004 or in the way his son Kumaraswamy managed to ally with the BJP.
So, for the JD(S) all options are open - it can be either the Congress or the BJP. Gowda and sons don't want to be out of power.