Congress, JDS will fight polls together in Karnataka: Shivakumar

Bengaluru: Senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar Sunday said his party will fight the national polls in alliance with the JD(S) across all seats of Karnataka. Shivakumar, who is also a minister, said discussions on seat sharing will be held soon.

“I’m saying that we, Congress and JD(S), will fight together in all 28 seats,” he told reporters. Asked on JD(S)’s demand for 12 seats, Shivakumar said, “I’m not spokesperson of JD(S). Is it wrong to have a desire? Politically they will have to give a message of confidence and courage to their party workers and seek their support in winning.”

Seat sharing has emerged as a bone of contention between the two parties, however, leaders of both the parties have exuded confidence in fighting the polls together. Unhappy over the the Congress’ “big brother attitude,” JD(S) members recently asked its leadership to contest all 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state alone.

However, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda has clarified that his party will fight the polls in alliance with the Congress and demanded 12 seats. Indicating reservations about the JD(S)’s demand for 12 seats, state Congress Chief Dinesh Gundu Rao has said seat sharing between the ruling coalition partners will be based on merit.

Meanwhile, on reports of few Congress legislators setting Monday deadline over delay in appointments to boards and corporations, Shivakumar said nothing of that sort has happened. He also cited new moon day and eclipse, considered inauspicious, as the reason for the delay.

“No one has set any deadline, it is false. Congress party has given the list. Dinesh Gundu Rao gave it to me and I have handed it over to Kumaraswamy. We belong to Hindu culture and there are certain things, today is new moon day and also eclipse, let everything finish. No one can set any deadline,” he said.

“Both parties have decided on what has to be done. They (JD(S)) too have certain responsibilities, the chief minister has spoken to me. When it has to happen, it will happen,” he added. Pointing out that the Chief Minister was out of town, Shivakumar said, “They have to decide on their party as well. They recently called a meeting of their party workers. It will be done and there is no reason to worry.”

Recently, Deve Gowda said appointments to all 30 boards and corporations will be done at one go. Congress forwarded its list of 19 legislators to the chief minister, but according to sources, the move has irked the JD(S) leadership as they were apparently not consulted.

Also, Congress recommending some of its legislators as heads of boards and corporations that come under departments controlled by JD(S) ministers has angered the party, leading to the Chief Minister delaying the appointment.