Congress and JD(S) seal poll pact in Karnataka with 20-8 seat formula

Congress and JD(S) seal poll pact in Karnataka with 20-8 seat formula

Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) on Wednesday sealed its poll pact with the Congress for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, settling for 8 of the state’s 28 parliamentary seats rather than the 10 that it had aspired for.

The Congress did cede Tumkur, which it had won last time, to its alliance partner but refused to give up other seats that it had won in the 2014 elections. It has also convinced the JD (S) not to insist on the Mysuru seat, the home district of former chief minister Siddaramaiah.

The Congress-JD(S) alliance is in power in Karnataka but they share an uneasy, and often tumultuous, relationship.

Last week, Deve Gowda had met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in Delhi to discuss sharing of seats. After the meeting, the former PM claimed that he managed to get 10 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka.

The Congress-JD(S) coordination committee had met many times in the past few weeks but was unable to decide on a final deal for the 28 seats in Karnataka.

The seat distribution has been contentious particularly in the state’s southern Old Mysuru region, where the two parties have been direct rivals.

 JD(S) will be contesting from eight parliamentary constituencies namely Uttara Kannada, Chikkamagaluru, Shimoga, Tumkur, Hasan, Mandya, Bengaluru North and Vijayapura.

Earlier on March 6, HD Deve Gowda, national president of Janata Dal (Secular) and former Prime Minister had claimed that his party has “clinched” 10 seats in Karnataka, while maintaining that final decision will be taken by Rahul Gandhi, president of the coalition partner Congress.

“There are 28 seats in all. I have clinched 10 seats. The final decision will be taken after Rahul Gandhi discusses it with KC Venugopal (of Congress) and Danish Ali (of JD-S),” said Deve Gowda while speaking to media after meeting Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on the issue of seat-sharing in the state for Lok Sabha elections.

Karnataka, with 28 Lok Sabha seats will go for polls in two phases. While 14 seats will go to the polls in phase 2 on April 18, the rest 14 will vote in phase 3 on April 23.