JDS leader Gowda holds talks with Karnataka Congress chief

Bengaluru: Following the debacle in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda met with Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao yesterday and held discussions.

According to media reports, the meeting lasted for over an hour.

Speaking to reporters, Rao said that the former prime minister had asked him to come home to discuss various issues. However, he didn’t reveal what transpired between the two. Rao said that Gowda had told him something outright about the two parties and that they will have to take decisions after discussing with other senior leaders in Congress.

In the just-concluded elections, Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) managed to win one seat each of the 28 in Karnataka, while the BJP won 25 seats.

The other seat was bagged by BJP-backed Independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh, who defeated Deve Gowda’s grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy in Mandya. Deve Gowda too lost from Tumkur. BJP leaders have predicted the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka and an increase in the saffron party’s tally in the Assembly after the Lok Sabha poll results, claiming that 20-odd Congress MLAs were unhappy with the state government.

The Deve Gowda-Rao meeting comes amid coalition worries and discontent within the Congress, with its MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has been rubbing shoulders with the BJP for some time, even threatening to resign, along with a few other lawmakers. The Congress has convened a meeting of its legislature party on Wednesday to discuss the political developments in the southern state.