Ex-PM HD Deve Gowda’s Son-In-Law C N Manjunath To Make Poll Debut On BJP Ticket

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Ex-PM HD Deve Gowda's Son-In-Law To Make Lok Sabha Poll Debut On BJP Ticket

CN Manjunath headed the state-owned Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research.

Bengaluru:

Noted cardiac surgeon Dr C N Manjunath, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda’s son-in-law, took the plunge into politics on Wednesday as the BJP announced his candidature from Bangalore Rural constituency in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP on Wednesday announced its first list of 20 candidates in Karnataka, which has a total of 28 seats.

Mr Manjunath, who met veteran BJP leader B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday, will be taking on incumbent MP D K Suresh, the brother of Deputy Chief Minister and State Congress chief D K Shivakumar.

The BJP and JD(S) are in an alliance in Karnataka and, according to sources, JD(S) will contest in three seats — Mandya, Hassan and Kolar — and an agreement was reached between the two parties to field Mr Manjunath on the BJP symbol.

Mr Manjunath headed the state-owned Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research for 17 years before retiring in January this year.

Welcoming Mr Manjunath to the BJP, Mr Yediyurappa said his joining has strengthened the party, and both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed happiness about his coming to the party and contesting polls.

“He will be contesting the Lok Sabha polls. When such people contest, they should be elected unopposed, but the election is inevitable in politics,” Mr Yediyurappa said.

Manjunath said: “This will be a hat-trick election for Modi. Under his leadership, the country has gained a global reputation in all sectors including the economy. He has always encouraged achievers and specialists.” 

Noting that during his service as a cardiologist and in the field of medicine, he has worked towards ensuring that medical services reached the poor and downtrodden at low cost, Manjunath said, “I will not do politics in politics.” Stating that has got support from all sections of people, he said, “With Modi’s popularity and under the leadership of Yediyurappa, Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy (State JD-S President) I am ready to face everything.” 

Meanwhile, speaking at a party meeting in the district headquarters town of Hassan on Wednesday, Mr Kumaraswamy said that the BJP high command had asked him to convince his brother-in-law Dr Manjunath to join politics and contest the polls.

Mr Manjunath is a farmer’s son from Hassan district, who has also earned a name for himself abroad, he said.

“I had not decided to make him a candidate. Manjunath too had not decided to come to politics. It began in the media that he should come to politics, considering his 17 years of service. Probably we too did not get publicity, I should thank the media,” Kumaraswamy said.

JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda too had earlier said he would not give “permission” for Manjunath to contest at any cost. Recently, he had publicly advised Manjunath not to enter politics.

According to a statement from the former chief minister’s office earlier, Kumaraswamy during a meeting with JD(S) leaders from Bangalore Rural segment said he had spent two hours on Sunday convincing his father Deve Gowda about fielding Manjunath.

Mr Kumaraswamy further said, “BJP’s high command told me, ‘You should somehow convince your brother-in-law. We need him.’ They pressured me to ensure that he contests. Today he is contesting from the same Kanakapura constituency which gave me political birth. It is today Bangalore Rural segment.” 

Mr Kumaraswamy had also said that his sister (Manjunath’s wife) is not happy about her husband entering politics. “My sister is shedding tears, asking why they are being dragged into politics. She is saying we are living peacefully, we don’t want politics. …but defeating our opponents is my aim.” 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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