It is rare for an actor to endure a predicament in his real life that is similar to the fortunes of the character that he is playing in his forthcoming release.

Actor Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, has a film named Kurukshetra ready for release, and he plays the legendary warrior Abhimanyu (Arjun's son) in the movie. Abhimanyu is eventually defeated as his father's rivals hem him from different directions, and he has no escape route.

Nikhil finds himself in the same sorry situation in the political Kurukshetra too, so to speak, as he is said to be facing defeat from the Mandya district from where is standing on a JD(S) ticket. Sumalatha Ambareesh, who is standing as an independent candidate (though there is some kind of understanding with the BJP), is seemingly on a strong wicket, what with the image of recently deceased Ambareesh still resonant among the common folks.

Also read — Kumaraswamy: Congress planned ‘chakravyuha’ against my son Nikhil in Mandya

The real story is that even the Congress – the JD(S)' alliance partner – is not keen on working for Nikhil as Mandya is a huge bone of contention between the two parties. Two days back, a group of Congress workers from Mandya met CLP leader Siddaramaiah and told him that they wouldn't work for the success of JD(S) candidate from Mandya.

The Congress workers feel that this is the payback time for the short shrift that the Deve Gowda family gave them all these years in Mandya, which is the belt of Vokkaligas – the community that the Gowdas belong to. The Gowdas, in their peak, had refused to share power with the Congress in Mandya, and Nikhil may now be paying a price for that previous perverse show of pride and petulance.

Also read — Sumalatha: JDS luring my staff to talk ill of me

But Nikhil's loss may have a major bearing on Karnataka politics and on the future of the tenuous Congress-JD(S) alliance. Nikhil's defeat has also the potential to upset the power equations within the Gowda clan – Kumaraswamy's brother HD Revanna's son Prajwal is contesting from Hassan, and is said to be better placed to win that seat. In the eventuality of this, Kumaraswamy may find his hold in the party loosening.

At any rate, Kumaraswamy may even think of resigning as the chief minister – he has dropped hints to the effect – should the JD(S) suffer jolts in the Lok Sabha elections. He has openly accused that some forces are working to finish him off politically. The reference, of course, is here to his alliance partner, the Congress.

The entire Mysuru belt, including the nearby Tumakuru, Hassan, Mandya areas, is reverberating with the conflict between the JD(S) and the Congress. Recently, JD(S) workers shouted pro-BJP slogans in the presence of higher education minister GT Deve Gowda, as they expressed their displeasure over the Congress candidate for Mysuru constituency CH Vijayashankar.

As can be seen, the relationship between the two parties is placed precariously, and one small push may bring the entire edifice crashing down.

The BJP, for its part, is targeting the vulnerability of its political rivals. In a smart move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen to address rallies in Chitradurga and Mysuru. This will bring further traction to the BJP's campaign, the party feels.

The party spokesperson has been quoted as saying, “the PM’s campaign rallies in Mysuru will have a deep impact in Mandya, Kodagu, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Hassan districts. His intervention will further boost the party’s strength.”

For Nikhil, the political Chakravyuh may already be tightening.