JDS demanded 12 seats, but after much haggling, the party managed to bag 8 seats. The seat-sharing talks between the Congress and the JDS finally comes to an end.
Bengaluru: Karnataka's coalition partners Congress and the JD(S) have been indulging in seat-sharing talks for over a month. The discussion has finally come to an end with Deve Gowda's party settling for 8 MP seats out of the 28 in Karnataka. The JD(S) came to power during the Assembly election last year along with the support of the Congress. The party demanded 12 seats earlier, going by the coalition principle. However, the Congress was in no mood to relent. Deve Gowda had mentioned last week that JD(S) would bag at least 10 seats, while holding discussions with Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. Sources say that Congress leaders in the state wanted to ensure their ally settled for less.
Syed Mohid Altaf, JD(S) minority wing president and Karnataka Government's special representative said that the party's demand for 12 seats was purely based on the coalition principle, but the Congress refused to give in.
"The decision was taken by Congress's high command, Rahul Gandhi and the JD(S) chief. They have finally decided on this formula and we will abide by this calculation. In our internal survey, we hoped to pull off a victory in 12 seats and demanded tickets to contest in only those constituencies. However, we had to settle for eight seats," said Altaf.
Secretary for All India Congress Committee KC Venugopal, in a letter, said that the Congress would contest in Chikkodi, Belagavi, Bagalkot, Kalaburgi, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal, Ballari, Haveri, Dharwad Davangere, Dakshina Kannada, Chitradurga, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Bangalore Rural, Bangalore Central, Bangalore South, Chikkaballapur and Kolar. Hassan, Mandya, Shivamogga, Udupi Chikkamagaluru, Bangalore North, Uttara Kannada, Vijapura and Tumakuru will go to the JD(S), the letter said.
Two constituencies that have left the Congress unhappy:
The Congress may have stuck to its stand and refused to budge with respect to the JD(S)'s demand, but the party workers in Bangalore North and Tumakuru are left disappointed with the seats being given to the JD(S).
Sitting MP of Tumakuru Muddahanumegowda was in for a rude shock. The Congress leader won after securing 429868 votes in 2014. With JD(S) having three MLAs out of eight Assembly seats in the region, the Congress found it best to hand over Tumakuru to the JD(S).
"The Congress also received a surprise in this seat-sharing deal after it had to give away its seats like Bangalore North and Tumakuru to the JD(S). In Bangalore North, we had a chance to seal victory and in Tumakuru, our sitting MP Muddahanumegowda has been let down. Since we are part of a coalition, we have to accept this decision and fight the election united," said Kengal Renu, Congress spokesperson.
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Last Updated 14, Mar 2019, 7:51 PM