JD(S)-Congress Second Round of Talk in Karnataka for Poll Tie-Up Remains ‘Inconclusive’

The Coordination Committee of JD(S)- Congress coalition that met on Monday to discuss the seat-sharing terms for Upcoming Lok Sabha polls remains inconclusive, sources familiar with the development said. Sources further revealed that the meeting could not arrive at any decision on seat sharing for the coming Lok Sabha elections as both parties stuck
to their guns on the constituencies, they intend to contest in Karnataka.

The two parties had begun formal talks last week with the JDS insisting that 12 of the total 28 Lok Sabha seats be conceded to it, but party supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda indicated Sunday that they were ready to compromise.

The Monday meeting was its 4 meeting in the direction. The two allies, who had formed the government after striking a post-poll alliance as the May 2018 assembly elections threw up a hung verdict, had announced earlier that they would fight the Lok Sabha elections together.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition coordination committee chairman and former chief minister Siddaramaiah told reporters they had a good detailed discussion about every constituency.
“We are moving in the right direction,” Siddaramaiah said after the coordination committee meeting in Bengaluru.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali, KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao attended the meeting. JDS has put forth its demand with a list of candidates to contest for 12 seats – a demand which the party is asserting since long.

“We have not given a final shape to it. We will give it in the coming days,” Siddaramaiah said after the meet.

The Mandya Lok Sabha seat has become a bone of contention between the two parties with JD(S) deciding to field Kumaraswamy’s son and Deve Gowda’s grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy.

Asked about the JD(S) hinting that Nikhil Kumaraswamy would contest from Mandya even before the list got finalised, Siddaramaiah said, “Can we say no to a candidate who has winnability there?”

It is also claimed that the final meeting would take place between Deve Gowda and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Seat sharing will be a major test for both parties as the JD(S), banking on two-thirds, one-third formula adopted in ministry formation and allocation of boards and corporations has demanded 12 seats out of the total of 28.

Sources further claimed that Mysore Region of the state has also become a bone of Contention, Both the parties have a strong presence in the region and that is the reason that the Old Mysore Region. Saffron BJP has not much presence in the region. In the 2018 State Polls, Both – INC and JDS – have won 40 seats out of 51 even though both have contested each other. BJP secured nine seats, while JDS ally BSP won a single seat and other was bagged by an independent Candidate.

READ: JD(S) bargains hard with Congress for seat-sharing in Karnataka, HD Gowda pitches 1:2 formula

The BJP in 2014 General Elections had won 17 seats while Congress and JD(S) followed with nine and two seats each. The JD(S) contested 25 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha Polls against 21 in 2009 Parliamentary Elections.

The saffron party had a 43.37 per cent vote share in the state followed by Congress’ 41.15 per cent. The JD(S) commanded a vote share of 11.07 per cent votes in last Lok Sabha Polls of 2014

In May 2018 after State Polls, Congress extended unconditional Support to JD(S) in a bid to keep BJP away from Power. Mayawati’s BSP pact with JD(S) as a result BSP saw the election of its first Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) in Karnataka in 25 years.

READ: After UP, BSP-SP Announce Alliance in Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand for Lok Sabha Polls 2019

Though the Suspense over whether BSP would back JDS in upcoming is still continued.

Congress and JD(S) scored a crucial 4:1 win over the BJP in the by-elections for three Lok Sabha and two assembly seats in Karnataka in November’18, proving that their votes were transferring within the alliance.

The alliance also managed to create an upset in Ballari, a BJP stronghold for around 15 years. Congress termed it a “teaser for what is in store for the BJP next year”.

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