Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy on a makeover drive to shed ‘five-star’ image
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Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy on a makeover drive to shed ‘five-star’ image

By Thehindu calender  21-Jun-2019

Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy on a makeover drive to shed ‘five-star’ image

In less than a fortnight, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has made two important announcements — resumption of Grama Vaastavya (village stay) programme and completion of crop loan waiver scheme. These, coupled with a spree of Janata Darshans in Vokkaliga heartland over a week, point to his effort at regaining a “people-friendly” image, an urgent need after the Lok Sabha election debacle and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s renewed bid at destabilising the coalition government.
In the first year of his current tenure, Mr. Kumaraswamy had kept away from village stay, which was a popular programme in his tenure during 2006–07 and projected him as a leader who is accessible to the masses.
Last week, Mr. Kumaraswamy visited his constituency, Channapatna in Ramanagaram district, and laid the foundation stone for projects totalling over ₹230 crore. He also received a few thousand petitions from the public. In Bengaluru too, Mr. Kumaraswamy has been meeting people of late to receive petitions, even at his J.P. Nagar residence which he had stopped nearly a year ago.
These are seen as strategic attempts to rebuild the party’s image in the backdrop of the dismal performance of the Janata Dal (Secular)–Congress coalition in the elections, multiple sources in the party said. The JD(S) tally in the Lok Sabha has come down from two to one (Prajwal Revanna). While the Chief Minister’s son, K. Nikhil, lost from Mandya, and party national president H.D. Deve Gowda lost from Tumakuru, both in the Vokkaliga heartland. Just a year ago, the party had performed exceedingly well in Mandya district by sweeping all the eight Assembly seats.

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