The Hassan Lok Sabha constituency in Karnataka, known for its rich political history and the dominance of the influential Gowda family, is once again at the forefront of political intrigue. This time, the contest promises to be a showdown between Janata Dal (Secular)’s Prajwal Revanna and Congress candidate Shreyas M. Patel. Hassan has long been a bastion of the (JD(S), often referred to as the ‘Republic of JDS’, thanks to the unwavering support of the Vokkaliga community for the Gowda family. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s legacy looms large over the constituency, with his family continuing to wield significant influence.

Gowda vs Gowda In Hassan Lok Sabha Seat

The Gowda family’s grip on Hassan began in 1985 when G. Puttaswamy Gowda, contesting as an independent candidate, challenged Deve Gowda. This rivalry has spanned generations, including in the 2019 elections where Deve Gowda’s grandson, Prajwal Revanna, claimed victory. As the JD(S) candidate, Prajwal secured 676,606 votes in 2019, with BJP’s A. Manju trailing behind at 535,382 votes.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, 31-year-old Shreyas M. Patel, the grandson of late Minister G. Puttaswamy Gowda, is challenging Prajwal Revanna. Patel narrowly lost the Holenarsipur Assembly seat to Prajwal’s father, H.D. Revanna, by 3,152 votes last year. His formidable challenge to the senior JD(S) leader is seen as a key factor in his selection as the Congress candidate, The Hindu reported.

The political feud between the Gowda and Puttaswamy Gowda families is set to continue with this Lok Sabha election. Historically, Puttaswamy Gowda had multiple electoral face-offs against Deve Gowda, defeating him in the 1989 Assembly election and the 1999 Lok Sabha election. The rivalry extended through the years, with Puttaswamy Gowda’s daughter-in-law, S.G. Anupama, contesting against Revanna in the 2008 and 2013 Assembly elections, albeit unsuccessfully, as per The Hindu.

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Rape And Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Prajwal Revanna

Prajwal Revanna’s political career has been marred by controversy. Last year, the Karnataka High Court disqualified him as the Hassan MP due to discrepancies in his asset declaration. More recently, he has faced serious allegations of sexual abuse. Prajwal, along with his father H.D. Revanna, has been accused in multiple cases, leading to his suspension from the JD(S).

Prajwal is accused of sexually harassing a 47-year-old former maid. According to PTI, he is listed as accused number two, while his father and local MLA, H D Revanna, is the primary accused. Prajwal has been so far named in three cases of sexual assault. There are also rape charges against him.  

The allegations have significantly impacted the political landscape. Prajwal was arrested on May 31 upon his return from Berlin, Germany nearly a month after he fled amid these accusations. The Congress has seized upon this controversy, criticising the BJP for its alliance with JD(S) despite the serious charges against Prajwal claiming prior knowledge.

It must be noted that the fate of the Hassan seat was already sealed before the scandal broke out as polling on this seat took place on April 26.

Despite the Congress being in power in Karnataka, its presence in Hassan remains weak, holding only two of the eight Assembly constituencies within the Lok Sabha seat. The JD(S) dominates with six seats, while the BJP holds two. 

According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Hassan Lok Sabha seat saw a voter turnout of 77.68%.

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