'JD(S) workers voting for BJP is false'

Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. File photo

Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Thursday said he was surprised over minister G T Devegowda's statement that JD(S) workers in parts of Mysuru had voted for BJP, and hoped it turns out to be "false."

"Minister G T Devegowda's statement has surprised me. I wish that Devegowda's statements turn out to be false," Siddaramaiah, chief of the ruling Congress-JDS coalition's coordination committee in Karnataka, said in a tweet.

He further said, "We will get to know the truth about this statement on May 23 when the results are out.

There is no use in thinking about what has happened, let us wait and see."

Gowda's statement on Wednesday had created a flutter within the ruling coalition and triggered a strong reaction from the Congress, with its state president Dinesh Gundu Rao taking strong exception and questioning his sincerity.

Gowda, who is from JD(S), had defeated Siddaramaiah inChamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru during the assembly polls last year, and is currently the Higher Education Minister in the Kumaraswamy government.

A majority of JD(S) workers and leaders in Mysuru have reportedly opposed to the decision of ceding the Lok Sabha seat to the Congress and wanted their party patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda to contest from there.

However, the Congress managed to secure it as Siddaramaiah was adamant about not ceding the seat, which is his home turf, to JD(S), and resentment within the regional party about supporting their coalition partner's candidate C H Vijayashankar continued.

At a JD(S) party workers meeting ahead of polls to work out a strategy to support the Congress candidate, several party workers had even raised pro-Modi slogans.

G T Devegowda, who initially stayed away from canvassing votes for Vijayashankar, finally participated in campaigning after coalition leaders pacified him.

He had also shared the stage with Siddaramaiah.

Sitting MP Prathap Simha is the BJP candidate from Mysuru.

The Congress and JD(S), which joined hands to form the government after the assembly polls as the election threw up ahung verdict, decided to face the Lok Sabha polls together.

However, it was not something that large sections of workers of both parties agreed to as they had been fighting against each other for decades.

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