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JD(S) asks for 12 seats, Cong insists on winnability

harath Joshi
Last Updated : 26 February 2019, 04:54 IST
Last Updated : 26 February 2019, 04:54 IST
Last Updated : 26 February 2019, 04:54 IST
Last Updated : 26 February 2019, 04:54 IST

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Alliance partners the Congress and the JD(S) on Monday initiated formal talks on sharing of seats for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, with the regional party making its intent clear that it was willing to contest a dozen seats.

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao held seat-sharing talks with Public Works Minister H D Revanna, JD(S) state president A H Vishwanath and JD(S) MP Kupendra Reddy.

According to sources, the JD(S) leaders said they were keen on contesting from Mandya, Hassan, Bangalore North, Mysore, Chikkaballapur, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Raichur, Bidar, Bijapur, Uttara Kannada and Shimoga.

JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda confirmed that his party had sought 12 seats. A final call will be taken during the Coalition Coordination and Monitoring Committee meeting that will be held in the coming days, Gowda said. “I will not intervene at this juncture. However, if need be, I will hold discussions with the Congress’ national leaders in Delhi,” he said.

On its part, Congress continued to insist on ‘winnability’ as the sole criterion for sharing of seats.

It is learnt that Parameshwara and Rao tried to impress upon the JD(S) that sharing of seats should not become an issue of prestige and that it has to be based on candidates, not numbers. Accordingly, the Congress camp is learnt to have advised the regional party to draw up a list of its candidates who have the potential to win.

Some seats sought by the JD(S) include those currently represented by the Congress - Chikkaballapur, Tumkur, Chitradurga and Raichur. The grand old party is under pressure from its incumbents not to cede their seats to the JD(S). Leaders from both camps are said to have agreed that Congress president Rahul Gandhi and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda should take a call on this.

“We have discussed all 28 Lok Sabha seats. It has been decided that seats will be decided based on the winnability of the candidates,” Rao told reporters after the meeting.

Revanna said there was no controversy surrounding seat-sharing talks. “Our main aim is to keep away the communal forces. It’s not about how many seats which party will contest. We’re determined to win all 28 seats together. Senior leaders will finalise the seats,” he said.

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Published 25 February 2019, 16:53 IST

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