Leave 10 seats for us, Deve Gowda tells Rahul Gandhi on Congress, JD(S) seat sharing
The seat-sharing deal between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka is expected to be announced by March 10.Updated: Mar 07, 2019 07:48 IST
The seat-sharing deal between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka is expected to be announced by March 10, leaders of the two parties familiar with the development said on Wednesday.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi called on former prime minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda at his Delhi residence on Wednesday to discuss the seat-sharing issue.
Gowda asked Gandhi to leave 10 out of the total 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka for the JD(S). Initially, Gowda’s party had demanded 12 seats.
However, the Congress is not willing to concede more than eight seats, arguing that it had offered the JD(S) to lead the coalition despite having won more seats in the 2018 assembly polls.
It had initially offered six seats to the JD(S) depending on its winnability and not on the basis of the one-third, two-third formula as suggested by the JD(S), according to Congress leaders with knowledge of the matter.
The other problem confronting the two parties is the allocation of constituencies. The JD(S) had demanded Shivamogga, Hassan, Mandya, Mysuru, Bengaluru North, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, Chitradurga, Raichur, Bidar, Bijapur and Uttara Kannada seats.
While the Congress is willing to concede Hassan, Mandya and Shivamogga, it appears unlikely to give up its claim on Bengaluru North, Mysuru, Tumakuru and Chikkaballapur besides two seats in north Karnataka.
During the two-hour meeting, the two leaders discussed the current political situation in the country and the need for opposition unity.
The two leaders later authorised Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, K C Venugopal, and JD(S) national general secretary Danish Ali, who were present at the meeting, to work out the final seat-sharing model and discuss the modalities.
“Rahulji discussed seat sharing in Karnataka. This is the first such discussion between the two parties. Earlier, I had asked for 12 seats. I requested him to give at least 10 seats to the JD (S),” Gowda told reporters after the meeting. He said Gandhi will take a final call on the seat sharing issue after taking inputs from Ali and Venugopal but insisted that the objective of the pre-poll alliance is to win the elections.
A senior Congress leader, who asked not to be named because the negotiations were going on, said there was no question of the party giving up seats it had won.