Late on March 13, the coalition partners in Karnataka — JD(S) and Congress — finally agreed on seat sharing for the upcoming general election. Of the 28 Lok Sabha seats, the Congress will contest in 20 while the JD(S) will fight in eight.
“Following a meeting by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and HD Deve Gowda, the party had entrusted AICC general secretary KC Venugopal and JDS general secretary Danish Ali to discuss further and finalize the seat sharing. They have finally come to an agreement today,” a Congress spokesperson said.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted the seat share details confirming the coalition partner’s agreement. The announcement came soon after JDS leaders met Rahul Gandhi in Kerala on March 13.
According to the confirmed list that the Congress party released, JDS will contest in the Vokkaliga stronghold regions—Shimoga, Tumkur, Hassan, Mandya, Bengaluru North, Uttara Kannada, Udupi-Chikkamagaluru and Bijapur (presently known as Vijayapura).
The seat sharing agreement has been in such a way that both the parties can club their vote banks to take on the power-hungry Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In Shimoga and Udupi-Chikkamagalur, JD(S) will take on BJP leaders B S Yeddyurappa and Shobha Karandlaje.
Speculations were rife that the 85-year-old former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda would contest from either Mysore or Bangalore North. But the seat sharing agreement now indicates it is most likely to be Bangalore North for the Vokkaliga leader who would fight against Union Minister Sadananda Gowda.
Deve Gowda, officially announced on Wednesday that he’d relinquish his seat in Hassan to make way for his grandson Prajwal Revanna (son of PWD Minister HD Revanna). Meanwhile, it was long announced that his grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy (son of CM Kumarswamy) would contest from Mandya.
“Let us remember that both the parties (Congress and JDS) used to fight for the same territory. Even if the seat sharing agreement is finalized, there would be differences at the ground level and that is something the coalition partners will have to handle better,” Psephologist Sandeep Shastry said.