Deal with JD(S) no setback for Cong: Siddaramaiah

Deal with JD(S) no setback for Cong: Siddaramaiah

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah at an interaction with DH in Bengaluru on Wednesday.DH Photo/S K Dinesh

The Congress will not lose ground due to its pre-poll alliance with the JD(S) for the Lok Sabha elections, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah asserted on Wednesday, allaying fears expressed by his own party colleagues.

In an interaction with DH just before both parties finalised sharing of seats for the Lok Sabha polls, Siddaramaiah said the Congress-JD(S) coalition was poised to defeat the BJP.

“It is not true that the Congress will be a loser in this alliance. Our main political enemy is the BJP and we have to defeat them. So, we have to go together. Our workers and leaders have to work together,” Siddaramaiah said.

The Congress and the JD(S) have been bitter political rivals. The JD(S) even handed out a massive defeat to Siddaramaiah from the Chamundeshwari Assembly segment in the May 2018 elections. “This is a Parliamentary election. We have to forget the past...whatever may have happened. We aren’t fighting each other now. We have to sink all our differences and fight unitedly,” he said.

A section of Congress leaders has argued that the pre-poll alliance with the JD(S) will not only erode the party’s base but end up helping the BJP make electoral gains. Siddaramaiah, however, ruled this out.

“The coalition has already proved its mettle in the November 2018 bypolls. We won in Bellary, Mandya, Jamkhandi and Ramanagaram. So clearly, the benefit will be ours. The BJP may make marginal gains, but that’s all,” he said.

Explaining the poll arithmetic that he hopes will work in favour of the Congress-JD(S) alliance, Siddaramaiah said both parties needed to work on securing their respective vote share. “The vote share the Congress earned should transfer to the JD(S) in seats that we have conceded. Similarly, the JD(S) vote share should transfer to us. Only when that happens, we can win all the seats. This is the understanding that is needed,” he said, adding that the alliance would bag at least 20 out of 28 seats in the state.

Siddaramaiah gave the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government a thumbs-up, notwithstanding “some small irritation” between the two parties. “There is a need for perfect understanding between the two parties, which will come with time.”

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