In Karnataka, the number of party leaders outnumbers the workers and the big-wigs of three major parties of the state – Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (Secular), have their credibility at stake in the general elections.

Besides former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, six ex-chief ministers are also contesting the Lok Sabha elections. Congress stalwarts like Mallikarjun Kharge and SM Krishna have pan-India identity. Therefore, all the senior leaders in the state are on their toes for the 17th April Lok Sabha elections.

Those six former chief ministers, who are in the fray, have two heavyweights each from three parties, fighting for their future. There are two former chief ministers – M Veerappa Moily and N Dharam Singh in the Congress camp.

Besides, ex-chief ministers in saffron camp BS Yeddyurappa and DV Sadanand Gowda are also contesting the LS polls. JDS leaders HD Deve Gowda and his son HD Kumaraswamy are also trying their luck in the LS polls.

What’s interesting is none of these seats are going to be a cakewalk for these leaders and the most riveting contest can be witnessed in Chikballapur constituency where Moily will lock horns with Kumaraswamy.

Though Moily was elected from Chikballapur last time, he was not interested to contest the polls this time around but eventually gave in to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s wishes. ‘Modi wave’ has further made the scheme of things more interesting on the prestigious seat.

Besides, Deve Gowda, who has been the Prime Minister as well as Chief Minister, is contesting from his traditional Hassan Lok Sabha constituency. Another former chief minister Dharam Singh is trying his luck from Bidar seat in a bid to make his way to Parliament.

Among all, BS Yeddyurappa is probable facing one of the biggest tests in his political career and is the only leader among the band of ex-CMs who is contesting the Parliamentary elections for the first time. The BJP has replaced his son BY Raghvendra with Yeddyurappa in Shimoga.

By fielding cine star Shivraj Kumar’s wife Geetha, the JDS has put a defiant challenge to Yeddyurappa in Shimoga. On the other hand, the Congress has given ticket to Manjunath Bhandari.

At the same time, another former chief minister Sadanand Gowda is facing an uphill task of snatching the Bangalore Rural seat from Congress.


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