Updated: January 5, 2019 3:12:51 am
The JD(S), which is governing Karnataka in an alliance with the Congress, has dropped broad hints that it would like to contest at least 12 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
In a public address on Thursday, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy asked JDS workers to ensure that the party sends 12 to 14 MPs to Parliament.
“Send 12 to 14 MPs to Parliament and then other parties will come to our doorstep for our support,’’ the Karnataka Chief Minister said at the JDS rally. He also said the 16 seats that the JDS won in the state in 1996 helped his father and JDS president Devegowda become the Prime Minister.
Kumaraswamy’s remarks came close on the heels of Devegowda’s statements suggesting that the Congress should follow the “coalition dharma’’ while drawing up seat-sharing plans for the 2019 polls. The JDS president has hinted that his party would like to take forward its alliance with the Congress into the Lok Sabha polls by following a 2:1 sharing formula devised by the two parties for running the coalition government in the state.
The JDS has dropped hints of its thinking on seat-sharing at a time when the Congress has emerged more assertive in the coalition following victories in Assembly polls in three Hindi heartland states.
In the 2014 Parliamentary polls, the JDS won only two seats of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka, the Congress won nine and the BJP 17.
The JDS has now hinted that it would like to field candidates with the support of the Congress in a few seats where it considers itself to be on a good footing — these include seats won by the Congress in 2014. At the party workers’ meet this week, Kumaraswamy suggested that the Raichur seat won by the Congress in 2014 and the Bidar and Bijapur seats won by the BJP — where the Congress too has a good standing — are among seats that the JDS can potentially win in the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress-JDS alliance is yet to hold discussions on seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha polls. However, while forging the alliance in Karnataka in May, the coalition partners had decided that they will contest the Lok Sabha polls together.
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