Karnataka

JD(S) still sore over losing Mysuru to Congress

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Vishwanath says party has not given up on the seat; JD(S) had initially sought 10 seats

The seat-sharing talks between the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress in the State, which had become a riddle, with both the parties insisting on contesting from Mysuru and Tumakuru Lok Sabha constituencies, may have been partly addressed after the Congress agreed to cede Tumakuru seat to its coalition partner.

However, the other contentious seat of Mysuru could become a thorny issue between the coalition partners, 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 Siddaramaiah, who was keen on retaining this seat. He wants C.H. Vijayshankar, former MP, to contest from here.

Soon after the announcement came from Kochi over the seat-sharing formula, agreed upon by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, JD(S) State president A.H. Vishwanath said the party had not given up on Mysuru seat, indicating that it would “bargain hard” with the Congress for the seat.

The talks between the coalition partners had dragged on for a few weeks, with the former Chief Minister and chairman of the coalition’s coordination committee Mr. Siddaramaiah insisting on retaining Mysuru constituency and all the 10 constituencies currently represented by Congress members for the party.

The JD(S), which had initially sought one-third of the 28 seats — or 10 seats — for the party and later said the number was flexible, had been insisting on getting Tumakuru and Mysuru seats, both part of the Vokkaliga heartland where the party’s strength lies.

Relative strength

Of the 8 Assembly constituencies in Tumakuru Lok Sabha constituency, four are held by the BJP, three by the JD(S) and one by the Congress. Similarly, in Mysuru Lok Sabha constituency, which also includes Kodagu, of the 8 Assembly constituencies, BJP holds four, JD(S) three, and the Congress holds one constituency.

Sources in the Congress said the party bargained for a 21–7 formula and retaining Tumakuru. However, they had to finally cede the seat.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:12:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/jds-still-sore-over-losing-mysuru-to-congress/article26526035.ece

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