After days of speculation, the Congress and the JD(S) on Wednesday made their seat sharing arrangement formal. Congress is set to contest from 20 out of the 28 total seats in the state. The JD(S) will now contest in Udupi-Chikkamagaluru, Karwar, Vijayapura and Shivamogga in addition to the Vokkaliga strong holds of Hassan, Mandya and Bengaluru North.
Interestingly, the Mysuru-Kodagu seat where the JD(S) has a strong grassroot presence has been retained by the Congress while Tumakuru which has a sitting Congress MP has been given to the JD(S).
This also puts to rest the speculation that former Congress MLA and rebel star Ambareeshâ€™s wife actor Sumalatha will contest from Mandya for the Congress party instead of Nikhil Kumaraswamy, the son of CM HD Kumaraswamy.
The seat sharing pact was formalised in a meeting between JD(S) national convenor Danish Ali and Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Kochi. The pre-poll alliance for Lok Sabha elections between the two parties was sealed soon after HD Kumaraswamy was sworn-in as the minister.
Last week, HD Deve Gowda in a meeting with Rahul Gandhi in the latterâ€™s residence in New Delhi had asked for 10 seats for the JD(S). Initially, when the talks had begun, JD(S) had bargained for 12 seats.
The meeting held on March 6 between the top two leaders of the respective parties had ended in a stalemate with the bone of contention being the Tumkuru and Chikkaballapura seats, both held by the Congress.