Bengaluru: After he failed to get a Cabinet berth in the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka, senior Congress leader R Roshan Baig announced that he is aspiring to contest from the Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha seat against two-time BJP MP PC Mohan.

To fulfill his aspiration, Baig has already spoken to the party’s high command in Delhi and also sought support from former Prime Minister and JD(S) president HD Deve Gowda and chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.

Talking to MyNation, Baig said that he has been working in the Bengaluru Central constituency for more than a year and after the coalition came to power, he has been meeting Deve Gowda. He also said that recently he spoke to Kumaraswamy and told him about his plans to contest.

"I was told by my family, friends and well-wishers that, I should contest for Lok Sabha 2019 elections. To strengthen my position, I have been meeting senior leaders in the Congress and I have expressed my interest to contest the MP seat from Bengaluru Central. I have also held several conventions and met Muslim clerics and other leaders to seek their advice. Since I share a good equation with HD Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy who are coalition partners, the combination of Vokkaliga community, Muslims and others will ensure the defeat of BJP," Baig said.

Baig is aware that he is not the only leader who is aspiring for this seat, the defeated candidate and now MLC, Rizwan Arshad, and Saleem Ahmed are also in the race and they are trying their best to convince the leaders to give them the ticket.

Agreeing with this formula, the JD(S) leaders opined that the party will always welcome any decision the coalition partners take.

"Ours is one-point programme and that is snatching MP seats from the BJP. Be it Baig or any other leader who contests from Bengaluru Central, he or she should win against PC Mohan," JD(S) national spokesperson Tanveer Ahmed said.

The BJP has held the Bengaluru North and Central MP seats for the last 10 years and Bengaluru South from last four decades and is confident of repeating the same under Narendra Modi’s leadership.

Mohan, who is the sitting MP from Bengaluru Central, said, "Let Congress-JD(S) choose any candidate, the BJP will win as I have groomed the constituency well in the last 1o years. I have an edge."

Mohan will be hoping to make it a hat-trick this time in 2019 election. He had secured 5.57 lakh votes in 2014 and his rival Rizwan Arshad got 4.19 lakh votes from the Bengaluru Central seat.

The Bengaluru Central constituency consists of eight MLA seats out of which the BJP has managed to get three and Congress won the rest in the recently concluded Assembly election in May.

While the Congress won Sarvajna Nagar, Shivajinagar, Shanthinagar, Chamrajpet and Gandhinagar, the BJP retained Rajajinagar, CV Raman Nagar and Mahadevpura.

Now, the BJP is hoping that it can get the sitting MP Mohan re-elected for the third time in a row.