Former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda on Wednesday said that the party has agreed to lower their demand for 12 Lok Sabha seats to 10 seats in Karnataka as part of the pre-poll arrangement with their alliance, the Congress. This statement comes after JD(S) met with Congress President Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on seat-sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“In Karnataka, we have a coalition with the Congress. While Congress is a national party, mine is a regional party. Earlier, I had demanded 12 seats, but today I have asked National President Rahul Gandhi for 10 seats, in the presence of the Congress National General Secretary KK Venugopal. Venugopal and Danish Ali [Secretary General of JD(S)] will discuss the issue about the constituencies and ultimately, the final decision will be taken by Rahul Gandhi,” Deve Gowda told the media.
A source in the Congress party, however, said that a final decision in the seat-sharing is yet to be taken.
According to reports, the JD(S) agreed to bring down the number of seats after the Congress maintained that they will not give up any of the seats they currently hold.
The bone of contention between the two parties is the Tumkuru and Chikkaballapura seats held by the Congress. JD(S) has insisted that the party wants to field their candidate from the two constituencies.
Congress leaders have previously insisted that the JD(S) has strong candidates in only five or six constituencies in the state. “If the Congress does not give JD(S) tickets in Tumakuru, Chikkaballapura and Mysuru-Kodagu, then the latter will withdraw support to the Congress and indirectly support the BJP,” the Congress source told TNM.
According to a source in the JD(S0 party, “Although the two parties have agreed on 10 seats for JDS, they have not agreed on the specific constituencies from where each party will contest. The JD(S) sought 10 seats in all, with nine from south Karnataka and one more from Kodagu.”
In the 2014 General Assembly Elections, the BJP had won 16 seats, the Congress 10 and the JD-S had won two.
Shortly after Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy won the floor test following the state elections in Karnataka last year, the top brass of the Congress and the JD(S) had decided to forge a pre-poll alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.