Sriramulu scouts for allies

Sriramulu scouts for allies

The B Sriramulu-led Badavara Shramikara Raitha (BSR) Congress appears to be looking for an alliance with other parties to face the crucial May 5 state Assembly elections.

The BSR Congress was routed in the recent urban local body (ULB) elections.

The BSR Congress is learnt to have sought a pre-poll alliance with the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S). Sriramulu has even proposed a seat-sharing formula.

According to the proposal, the BSR Congress will get priority in fielding candidates in Bellary, Raichur, Haveri, Koppal and Gadag districts in north Karnataka. The JD-S can nominate candidates in the remaining districts. Sriramulu also offered to campaign for the JD-S across the State.

Sources say Sriramulu has met JD-S State unit president H D Kumaraswamy at UB city in Bangalore. They held talks for more than two hours. But Kumaraswamy has sought time to reply to the proposal.

There was speculation in political circles some time ago that the BSR Congress had sought an alliance with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sriramulu had launched the new political outfit after quitting the BJP. Former minister Janardhana Reddy, who is now in jail on the charge of illegal mining, is said to be the brain behind the BSR Congress. Though Sriramulu won the Bellary Rural constituency byelection with a huge margin in 2011, his party’s performance in the ULB elections was abysmal. Of the total 4,976 seats, the party won only 86 seats.

Sources say Kumaraswamy is not very keen on a formal tie-up with the BSR Congress. He has been advised by his aides that the JD-S image may take a beating if it associates itself with any organisation or individual involved in illegal mining. However, the sources say the JD-S leader is not averse to a tacit understanding with Sriramulu’s party in sharing seats in some places.  Sriramulu and Kumaraswamy have maintained a cordial relationship in politics.

The JD-S campaigned in favour of Sriramulu in the byelection to the Bellary rural constituency held in December 2011.

Zameer Ahmed Khan, JD-S legislator from Chamarajpet, Bangalore, had camped in Bellary for many days for consolidating Muslim votes in favour of Sriramulu in the bypoll.
Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party State unit general secretary Sridhar Kalaveera, Srinivas of the BJP, Shankarappa of the JD-S and cine actor Mayur Patel joined the BSR Congress on Monday.

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