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Former MLA in ZP poll fray

Shankar Bennur

Suneetha Veerappa Gowda contesting from Somanathapur

Mysore: After lying low for almost three years of not being in power, the former MLA Suneetha Veerappa Gowda has surprised politicians in the Mysore region by deciding to contest the Mysore zilla panchayat elections.

Ms. Gowda, who was elected to the Assembly in 2004 from the erstwhile Bannur constituency in Mysore district, is now making a serious bid for a political comeback.

Ms. Gowda had won the Assembly election on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket but later she identified herself with the Janata Dal (Secular) following a “rift” with her party. She had lobbied for a ministerial berth when H.D. Kumaraswamy-led JD(S)-BJP coalition Government came to power in 2006. However, she could not make it to the Cabinet as the BJP, which was upset with her for hobnobbing with the JD(S) despite being a BJP MLA, did not consider her candidature.

Ms. Gowda's ambition for making it big in the State politics suffered a setback when Bannur constituency was dissolved in the delimitation exercise in 2008.

Ms. Gowda, who was a member of the Mysore zilla panchayat for three terms (from Turuganur constituency) has now filed her nomination from Somanathapur seat, which is reserved for general category (woman), as a JD(S) candidate. She had also served as president of the Mysore ZP. “I don't see any difference — be it Assembly or zilla panchayat — to serve the people,” she said.

She said political power was very important for serving people and bringing in development. “I am in the fray only because of the pressure from my supporters,” she said.

Incidentally, her husband, S.K. Veerappa Gowda, is trying to elevate himself politically and has filed his nomination for the zilla panchayat election from Turuganur seat as JD(S) candidate.

Turuganur seat is reserved for general category. This is the first time Mr. Gowda, who had earlier served as a gram panchayat member, is contesting the zilla panchayat election.

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