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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: D K Shivakumar huddles with Vokkaliga Congress leaders over poll results

The meeting was attended by Congress' Vokkaliga lawmakers and Lok Sabha candidates. Shivakumar, a Vokkaliga icon of Congress himself, hosted the meet at his Sadashivanagar residence.
Last Updated : 13 June 2024, 17:08 IST

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Bengaluru: Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who is also Karnataka Congress president, chaired a key meeting Thursday evening amid concerns that Vokkaliga votes veered towards the BJP-JD(S) alliance during the recent Lok Sabha polls.

The meeting was attended by Congress' Vokkaliga lawmakers and Lok Sabha candidates. Shivakumar, a Vokkaliga icon of Congress himself, hosted the meet at his Sadashivanagar residence.

Apparently, the leaders discussed how the alliance worked on the ground, especially for JD(S) that lost ground in the Assembly polls last year. That the Congress took a hit in Vokkaliga-dominated regions during the Lok Sabha polls was discussed, sources said.

The possible strengthening of the JD(S), which is Congress' main rival in the Vokkaliga-dominated Old Mysuru region, was talked about in the meeting. JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy becoming a union minister can stall and even reverse the weakening of the regional party. The new-found strength can also prevent JD(S) leaders from jumping ship, the Congress lawmakers discussed.

Importantly, Vokkaliga votes that Congress got in the Assembly polls last year appear to have gone back to JD(S). Congress leaders felt that the party should ensure recapturing the Vokkaliga votes in view of upcoming elections to local bodies.

The Vokkaligas, who claim to account for 16 per cent of the state's population, are seen as a dominant community and a crucial one during elections.

After having made gains in the Assembly polls last year, Shivakumar was bullish about Vokkaliga voters for the Lok Sabha polls. He repeatedly stressed the fact that Congress had given Lok Sabha poll tickets to eight Vokkaligas.

Congress, which has 21 Vokkaliga MLAs, has sent a message through Thursday's meeting that the community's leaders should stay united.

Yeshwanthpur BJP MLA ST Somashekhar, a Vokkaliga who is keeping distance from his party, attended the meeting.

Ministers Ramalinga Reddy, Krishna Byre Gowda, N Chaluvarayaswamy, K Venkatesh, Dr MC Sudhakar and other MLAs, former lawmakers and others were present.

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Published 13 June 2024, 17:08 IST

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