JD(S)-Congress seat sharing to be finalised by 13 or 14 March

Bengaluru: Amidst the ongoing confusion whether JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda would be contesting the coming elections in Karnataka, he announced yesterday that the seat sharing with coalition partner Congress would be finalised on 13 or 14 March. 

Speaking with reporters, he said that some Congress leaders may have gone to Delhi and after discussing with them on the seat sharing issue today a final decision may be arrived at.

After the party supremo decided to vacate his current constituency Hassan to his grandson Prajewal Revanna, reports suggested that the veteran leader would contest from Mandya. However, his other grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy has been announced as the JD(S) candidate from the party bastion of Mandya. 

On 25 February, the ruling coalition partners held the first round of seat-sharing talks and the Congress had insisted that winnability would be the main criteria, while the JD(S) maintained its stand to contest 12 seats of the total 28 seats banking on its two-third, one-third formula.

However, later, the JD(S) indicated that it would show flexibility in seat sharing talks and came down to 10 seats, scaling down the party’s earlier demand of 12. But the a meeting on seat sharing between Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Gowda at Delhi last week was inconclusive.

According to sources, the Congress may concede a maximum of eight seats to the JD(S), but the constituencies are yet to be finalized.

Sources have revealed JD(S) is keen on contesting from Mandya, Hassan, Bangalore North, MysuruChikkaballapurTumakuruChitradurgaRaichurBidarBijapur, Uttara Kannada and Shivamogga.

According to media reports, Election Committee of the Karnataka Congress met on Thursday last week and had finalised a panel of names for 15 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats. As JD(S) has sitting MPs at Hassan and Mandya, they will go to it, along with Shimoga, for which former MLA Madhu Bangarappa has already been declared as the candidate. Now both parties need to finalise on the rest of the seats that will go to the regional party.

Sharing of seats from old Mysuru region is expected to be an acid test for both the parties, as JD(S) considers it as its bastion, and Congress has its sitting members from most of the seats there. “There are reports that I will be contesting from Mysore, Tumkur and Bangalore North. But I have not decided yet, we are discussing it,” added Gowda.

NT Bureau