Congress cajoles JD(S) for alliance in Palike

Congress cajoles JD(S)  for alliance in Palike

The ruling Congress led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday stepped up its efforts to woo the father-son duo of the JD(S), H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy, to extend support to it in the BBMP council.

Sources in the Congress said the chief minister’s camp is planning to send a senior minister as an emissary to meet Gowda and strike a deal. The JD(S) leaders, who are trying to increase their bargaining power, are learnt to be insisting that the Congress should come up with a formal request, seeking the party’s support in the mayoral elections, the date for which is yet to be fixed.
Sources said the JD(S) leaders are likely to come up with certain demands and conditions, besides sharing of power in BBMP.

The second-rung leaders of the Congress have already agreed to give the posts of deputy mayor and chairmanship of three standing committees to the JD(S). The Congress leaders are learnt to have assured the JD(S) and the independent corporators all cooperation in developing their wards, the sources said.

Siddaramaiah is learnt to have already taken the consent of the party high command for a tie-up with the JD(S). However, a section of State Congress leaders, including KPCC president G Parameshwara and some Cabinet ministers, are said to be against the chief minister’s move. So, the entire effort of mustering support is being made by the Siddaramaiah camp.

It is said that Siddaramaiah is under pressure from his supporters to forge an alliance with JD(S). Congress MLA from KR Puram B A Basavaraj, a close confidant of Siddaramaiah, is keeping seven independent corporators-elect at a five-star hotel in Kochi, Kerala, to prevent poaching by the BJP. The chief minister, who led the Congress in the BBMP polls, was heavily banking on his supporters, mostly Bengaluru city MLAs, in conducting the elections.

Earlier in the day, Siddaramaiah met H D Revanna, son of Gowda, and is learnt to have asked him to prevail upon his father to extend support to the Congress. Unlike Kumaraswamy, Revanna is on good terms with Siddaramaiah.

Not only Siddaramaiah, Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy too are said to be under pressure from a section of party MLAs to join hands with the ruling party.

Sensing that the JD(S) would indulge in hard bargaining, two senior ministers K J George and D K Shivakumar said the Congress had not approached the JD(S), seeking its support. “After all, Kumaraswamy is a filmmaker, who is adept at direction, production and dialogue delivery. It is easy to figure out his motives,” Shivakumar told reporters. Bengaluru incharge Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the alliance depends on the decision of the JD(S).  

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