Bengaluru: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, caste politics refuse to die down in Karnataka’s Mandya. And, now the double standards of the JD(S) are exposed following the party’s national president HD Deve Gowda’s support to Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

Caste controversy was created by Mandya JD(S) MP Shivrame Gowda, who called the independent candidate Sumalatha a Naidu and outsider to Mandya. However, now Deve Gowda campaigned for Naidu in Andhra Pradesh and praised him and said he is a frontrunner for the PM’s post.

The BJP which has been accusing the JD(S) as most 'communal', used this opportunity to highlight the hypocrisy in the party. The JD(S) stands for secularism but in Mandya sitting MP made casteist remarks.

"In Mandya, they used the caste card against Sumalatha. They say she is a Naidu and outsider to Mandya, the same party walks hand in hand with the Naidus in Andhra Pradesh cheering for Chandrababu Naidu," said CT Ravi, general secretary, Karnataka BJP.

Highlighting the violation of model code of conduct by Shivrame Gowda, BJP leader and spokesperson Malavika Avinash said, "The model code of conduct clearly says that no one should use the caste card as it will be a violation of the code of conduct and the JD(S) has done it." said Malavika.

While the BJP exposed the hypocrisy of the JD(S), minister Bandepa Kashampur and close confidante of chief minister HD Kumaraswamy tried to downplay the issue.

"The comment was made by a small-time party worker. This will not impact the polls and the chances of the JD(S) in Mandya. The crowd is more due to the film stars coming to campaign for Sumalatha. But in reality, the grassroots workers of the JD(S)  are with the party. With regard to HD Deve Gowda campaigning for Chandrababu Naidu, he has all the potential and administrative skills to become a PM and he too is a contender and Deve Gowda admires him." said Kashampur.

Agreeing with the JD(S), Congress leader and spokesperson Kengal Shreepada Renu said, the comment was made by some party worker and it will not damage the chances of the coalition candidate Nikhil in Mandya.

"The comment of ' Naidu' and outsider to Mandya was made by some leader. If Ambareesh was alive he would not have walked up to the BJP. In case of Sumalatha, it is different." said Renu.