JDS should contest all 28 LS seats in Karnataka: Party leaders to Gowda

Bengaluru: Unhappy with the Congress’ ‘big brother attitude’ in the ruling coalition in Karnataka, JD(S) workers and local leaders have asked the leadership to contest all 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the coming Lok Sabha polls, party sources said.

Under the coalition arrangement, Congress and JD(S) had announced that they would fight the 2019 polls together. JDS workers and local level leaders conveyed their position to the party supremo and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda during preparatory meetings in eight districts, the sources said.

Expressing their displeasure against the Congress, JD(S) workers have accused the party of not treating the junior partner in the ruling alliance ‘respectfully’, sources said. Their attitude is like that of a ‘big brother’, they alleged and said that the Congress was “overlooking” the conditions agreed upon during the government formation.

Confirming the development, former JD(S) MLC and spokesperson Ramesh Babu said party workers and leaders had opined that the JD(S) should contest all 28 seats on a ‘friendly basis’ in the coming parliamentary election. “Workers feel that it is better to contest in all 28 parliamentary constituencies in Karnataka in the coming election,” he told PTI.

The Congress and JD(S) reportedly have difficulty in seat sharing in most of the old Mysuru region constituencies, where JD(S) is a dominant force and Congress has its sitting MPs. Stating that JD(S) had demanded 12 parliamentary seats, party sources said there was no positive response from Congress to this.

Dismayed over Congress’ “big brotherly attitude,” citing issues that allegedly recently cropped up over appointments of heads to boards and corporations, the sources said the leaders and workers had suggested that since JD(S) is part of the coalition government, they could have friendly contests in all 28 seats, instead of levelling charges against that party.

Meetings have taken place in Bengaluru, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumkur, Chikkamagaluru, Chitradurga and Mysuru, they said, adding that after 3 January, Deve Gowda would elicit the opinion of party workers in the other districts. Congress and JD(S) that had fought bitterly against each other, especially in old Mysuru region, joined hands to form a coalition government after the 12 May assembly polls threw up a hung assembly.