Conceding that the ruling Congress-JDS alliance is facing dissidence in some Lok Sabha constituencies, the Congress’ Karnataka unit, on March 26, expressed confidence about resolving differences by making both party workers understand the need to defeat “communal BJP.”
With transfer of votes between the Congress and the JDS crucial for them to outperform the BJP, there is worry in both parties that the dissidence may hamper their prospects.
Agreeing that there was disgruntlement in two to three places like Mandya, Tumkur and Hassan, coalition coordination chief and Congress leader Siddaramaaih said it was common in an alliance and when there were aspirants from both parties.
“There is some amount of disgruntlement in Tumkur as the sitting MP did not get the ticket from the Congress, because the seat went to the JD(S),” he said at a twitter interaction organised by the Karnataka PCC. “We are talking to workers there, also disgruntled leaders there. I have confidence that we will be able to pacify them,” he said.
“Coalition government and alliance is inevitable today. We will make workers and leaders of both partiesunderstand about the situation and the need for an alliance to defeat the communal BJP. I’m confident that they too will agree and there won’t be any problem,” he added.
Defying the electoral arrangement under which Tumkur was allotted to the JD(S), sitting Congress MP S P Muddahanumegowda filed his papers on Monday, even as JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda filed his nomination as the joint candidate of the ruling alliance.
Another Congress leader and former MLA, KN Rajanna, also filed his nomination on Monday from Tumkur as an independent candidate, opposing Gowda.
KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao on March 26 said he has spoken to both Muddahanumegowda and Rajanna and the party would resolve the issue “amicably.” “We have spoken to him (Muddahanumegowda), we have spoken to Rajanna… we will again speak to them and will solveit amicably,” Rao told reporters in response to a question about action on rebel candidates in Tumkur.
If Muddahanumegowda contests from Tumkur as a rebel candidate, it will add to the Congress-JD(S) coalition worries as the alliance is facing backlash at several places including Mandya and Hassan, with party workers unhappy with the seat arrangements.
Both parties that had fought bitterly against each other ahead of May 2018 Assembly polls joined hands to form an alliance as the election threw up a hung verdict. Though Congress-JDS leaders have decided to go to polls together, it is not something that the workers of both parties at the booth level, who have been fighting each other, agree with.
Deve Gowda’s grandsons, Prajaval Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy, are the alliance candidates from Hassan and Mandya respectively. Responding to a question, Siddaramaiah agreed that Tumkur was conceded to the JD(S) as he was against giving away Mysore seat to the regional party, which had asked for one among the two seats.
“We had to concede Mandya because sitting MP there was from JD(S), so naturally they asked for the seat.They also asked for a seat- either Mysore or Tumkur, I said we cannot concede Mysore because there is more opportunity for Congress there.”
Earlier too Congress’ performance was comparatively goodthere, he said. “Tumkur we had to concede despite having sitting MP, as they demanded one among the two seats,” he said, adding that “there is some disgruntlement there in Tumkur and we will solve it.”
JD(S) bagged Tumkur seat after a hard bargain with the Congress as the grand old party did not concede Mysore, another seat that it had demanded, due to strong resentment from CLP leader Siddaramaiah as it is his home turf, party sources said.
Both Mysore and Tumkur come under old Mysuru region where Vokkaliga community, seen as a strong vote bank of JD(S), is dominant. The Congress too has considerable presence there.