Bengaluru: The Congress in Karnataka managed to secure 20 seats out of 28 to fight the coming Lok Sabha elections after several rounds of talks with the JD(S) leaders.
The JD(S) climbed down from its initial demand of 12 seats and settled for eight. Former Chief Minister and the Chairman of the JD(S)-Congress Co-ordination Committee, Siddharamaiah had reportedly gained an upper hand in the seat-sharing exercises with the JD(S).
Out of the total number 28 Lok Sabha seats, in Karnataka JD(S) will contest in as many as eight Lok Sabha constituencies, while the Congress to field its candidates in 20 seats. As per the seat-sharing arrangements, the coalition partner JD(S) will contest in Hassan, Mandya, Tumakuru, Shivamogga, Uttara Kannada, Chikkamagaluru, Vijayapura and Bengaluru North.
The seats the Congress will field its candidates are, Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Bengaluru South, Bengaluru Central, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Dakshina Kannada, Chitradurga, Ballari, Belagavi, Chikkodi, Koppal, Davanagere, Dharwad, Bagalkot, Kalaburagi, Haveri and Bidar.
The final list for sharing of Lok Sabha seats were released after a meeting held between JD(S) leader Danish Ali with the AICC President Rahul Gandhi, at Kochi in Kerala yesterday.
The seat-sharing formula also gives JD(S) Supremo H.D. Deve Gowda two options to contest, Bengaluru North or Tumakuru, after he conceded its bastions — Mandya and Hassan – to grandsons Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Prajwal Revanna.
The Congress also gave away BJP bastions Shivamogga and Uttara Kannada to the JD(S) and sacrificed Tumakuru, represented by S.P. Muddhanume Gowda. Incidentally, Muddhanume Gowda was with JD(S) till 2014 and joined Congress during the last general elections.
Mysuru will be the bone of contention
However it looks like the seat-sharing talks between coalition partners as the contentious seat of Mysuru could become a thorny issue between them with JD(S) leaders expressing unhappiness over not been given the seat. The JD(S) has been arguing that with two Ministers (G.T. Deve Gowda and S.R. Mahesh) from Mysuru, and their party State President hailing from here, they have a legitimate stake over this.
Some also argued that this is a “safe seat” for party Supremo H.D. Deve Gowda. Mysuru going the way of the Congress is seen as a victory of sorts for the former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, who was keen on retaining this seat. He wants C.H. Vijayshankar, former MP, to contest from here.
JD(S) State President A.H. Vishwanath said that the party had not given up on Mysuru seat, indicating that it would “bargain hard” with the Congress for the seat.