Bengaluru: After weeks of speculation, the Congress and its coalition partner JD(S) finally sealed the seat-sharing deal yesterday with Congress getting 20 seats and JD(S) eight in the coming Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka.
The deal was inked at a meeting in Kochi between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali at Kochi.
According to media reports, JD(S) will contest the Lok Sabha constituencies from Uttara Kannada, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Tumkur, Hassan, Mandya, Bengaluru North and Vijayapura.
Taking to Twitter, Karnataka Pradesh Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao announced the news. “@INCIndia @JanataDal_S seat sharing for Karnataka #LokSabhaPolls2019 is confirmed. 20 for Congress and 8 for JDS,” he said.
JD(S) had won Hassan and Mandya Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general election. The Congress had bagged nine and BJP 17. However in the bypolls, the BJP had yielded the Bellary seat to Congress.
For very long time, the JD(S) stood firmly with its demand of 12 seats. But in a recent meeting with Rahul Gandhi at New Delhi, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda scaled down his party’s demand to 10 out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats.
Media reports said JD(S) bagged Tumkur seat after a hard bargain as Congress had decided not to cede the constituencies where the party has a sitting MP to its regional coalition partner. Mysore-Kodagu was another constituency that JD(S) had demanded from the old Mysuru region, but could not bag it due to opposition from Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah as the seat is in his home turf.
Among the eight seats that JD(S) has got, in Hassan and Mandya the party has its sitting MPs, Tumkur is with Congress, rest five constituencies are represented by the BJP.
KPCC will announce its first list of candidates on 16 March, while JD(S) is likely to announce its list in a couple of days. The JD(S) has already announced Gowda’s grandsons Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Prajwal Revanna as candidates from the party bastions of Mandya and Hassan, respectively. Former MLA Madhu Bangarappa has already been announced as JD(S) candidate from Shivamogga.