Parameshwara skips Cong-JD(S) unity presser

Parameshwara skips Cong-JD(S) unity presser

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara. (DH File Photo)

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara was conspicuous by his absence from a joint news conference the Congress-JD(S) alliance conducted Tuesday to show unity.  

Parameshwara is said to have kept away from the alliance camp as he is sulking over the Tumkur Lok Sabha seat, currently represented by the party, being ceded to the JD(S). Parameshwara is also the Tumakuru district in-charge minister, and has been mounting pressure on the Congress leadership to get back Tumkur, represented by S P Muddahanumegowda. “The deputy CM has some personal programmes, so he can’t join us. There’s no need to give it different meaning. He was with us till last night for meetings,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters.

The decision to cede Tumkur has caused heartburn within the Congress, with Parameshwara as well as veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge taking exception to it. Parameshwara has maintained that none of the ten incumbent Congress seats was to be ceded to the JD(S), and that the party had a greater chance of victory in Tumkur. Parameshwara, however, has said that he was okay with ceding Tumkur to the JD(S) if the regional party’s patriarch himself contested from there. 

When asked about re-negotiation on sharing of seats, Gowda said he had not discussed any change in the current arrangement during his meetings with Congress leaders since Monday night. “Seats have been shared. Let’s not discuss it any further,” Gowda said. When asked specifically about Tumkur, all that Gowda said was: “He said he won’t speak anything if I contest from there. Okay?” 

In a tweet, Parameshwara wrote: “Due to a prior family programme, I could not attend the Congress-JD(S) joint press conference. All senior leaders of the alliance have met to draw up a strategy for the election. Accordingly, we will jointly toil for the election.”