Will win by-polls despite initial hitches: Siddaramaiah

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah. (DH file photo)

Expressing confidence about Congress-JD(S) victory in the November 3 by-polls, former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah Wednesday said both the parties would work for the coalition's win despite "initial hitches".

"See for many years both parties have fought against each other, so there will be initial hitches. But it will be OK... everyone will work together in the election," he told reporters at Mysuru.

Stating that the perceived lack of understanding between workers of both parties would in no way affect the election results, the Congress leader sought to know why anyone would support the BJP.

"If there is some other candidate I can understand, but in this case, it is only between BJP and Congress-JD(S) alliance," he said.

Bypolls for three Lok Sabha constituencies- Shivamogga, Ballari and Mandya-- and two assembly constituencies-- Ramanagara and Jamkhandi will take place on November 3.

The counting of votes will be on November 6.

Congress has fielded candidates in Jamkhandi and Ballari and the JD(S) in Shivamogga, Ramanagara and Mandya.

To a question about lack of understanding between the coalition partners at the grass root level in Mandya, the Congress Legislature party chief said his party workers would work for the JD(S) candidate's win and that was the reason behind his visit to the constituency Wednesday.

The Congress and JD(S), which had bitterly fought each other during the May 12 assembly elections in the state, especially in old Mysuru region, joined hands to form a coalition government as the state assembly polls threw up a hung verdict.

Mandya Lok Sabha constituency comes under the old Mysuru region and is dominated by Vokkaligas, a community considered as JD(S)'s strong vote bank.

As Congress too has a considerable vote base in the region, a section of local party leaders and workers are said to have strong reservations against their leadership's decision to leave the seat for the JD(S).

Asked about BJP's claim that the coalition government would fall after the by-polls, Siddaramaiah retorted that the saffron party had been claiming so from the day the Congress-JD(S) government assumed power.

"By repeatedly making such claims, they (BJP) have destabilised themselves," he said.

The by-elections were necessitated after BJP's B S Yeddyurappa (Shivamogga), B Sriramalu (Ballari) and C S Puttaraju of JD(S) (Mandya) resigned as MPs on their election to the assembly in May this year.

By-polls to Jamkhandi assembly seat was caused by the death of Congress MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, while Ramanagara fell vacant after Kumaraswamy gave up the seat, preferring Chennapatna.

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Will win by-polls despite initial hitches: Siddaramaiah

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