Suresh emerges from DKS shadow

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Bengaluru: Till now, he had worked quietly behind the scenes for his brother and Congress strongman D.K. Shivakumar. However, during a public campaign at Anekal, D.K. Suresh, the Congress candidate for the Bangalore Rural parliamentary seat, sounded like his brother, proving he was no novice in electoral politics.
Interestingly, Suresh stuck to the promises made in the manifesto while seeking votes and refrained from attacking the rival Deve Gowda family. Was he trying to desist from a negative campaign and make sure he did not ruffle feathers in a Vokkaliga bastion where the Gowdas are revered? In an interview with DC, Suresh says the election is a challenge and he is not concerned about who his opponent is.
So far you worked in the shadow of your brother, Shivakumar. How do you feel facing the elections yourself?
There is no much difference. I have always treated all elections in our constituency as those personally concerning me. It is just that now, I am the candidate. Time is short and I am not able to cover all  villages.
Besides, in Kanakapura, we have created a system, which takes care of all elections. In other assembly constituencies in the Bangalore Rural seat, such a system do not exist. We are working with party cadre in these constituencies to push forward our campaign.
Is Bangalore Rural district proving to be a battleground between the D.K. Shivakumar and Deve Gowda families?
We have never thought on those lines. We don't know why they (the Gowda family) consider it a battleground. Our party was looking for the best possible candidate and selected me. After my candidature was declared, they (the Gowda clan) decided to field a member of their family. My candidature is the decision of the high command.
Do you consider Gowda and his family ‘outsiders’ in your district?
In democracy, every one has the right to choose the place he live and contest elections. I am no one to say that they are outsiders. But I would like to point out that our district (Bangalore Rural) has done much more for Gowda and his kin than Hassan. I think, they should remember that.
You are taking the Gowda family head-on in the election. Are you scared?
There is no question of getting scared. Earlier too, we have taken on the Gowda family thrice. My brother lost the election in Sathanur in 1985 and lost again in the parliament bypoll in 2002. We have also defeated Kumaraswamy in Sathanur once. In elections, individuals hardly matter. Everyone believes in principles and we fight for that. The rest is in the hands of voters.
What do you think are the factors which will work in your favour?
It is the party first and we have a very new government. We got the mandate just three months ago and the govt has given good pro-poor programmes. This should work in my favour.
What are the challenges you  face?
As I said, the area is vast and time is short. The challenge is that this election is being fought without any issues. There are no glaring issues which the people can ponder on before casting their votes. This may result in a lesser voter turnout.

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