Bengaluru: In a late night development, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwar came knocking at JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda’s door in a clear bid to iron out the differences that have plagued the Congress-JD(S) coalition after the JD(S)’ near pre-emptive strike in announcing a 20:8 seat sharing deal that upset senior Congress leaders, forced to cede several Congress bastions.
At the top of the list of sulking Congress leaders are those from Tumakuru from where party MP S.P. Muddu Hanume Gowda, was elected in 2014. Soon after the JD(S) announced it as part of the new arrangement, his camp followers rushed to lodge their protest with veteran leader M Mallikarjun Kharge, and demanded that he step in and restore Tumakuru to the Congress.
However, this looks unlikely as JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda himself is expected to contest from this constituency.
Similarly, revenue minister R.V. Deshpande and his supporters, intensified pressure on former CM Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao demanding a reversal of the party’s decision to allow the JD(S) to field a candidate in Uttara Kannada constituency. The kin of both former Union Minister Margaret Alva and Mr Deshpande are in the race for the party ticket here. Congress leaders said the Janata Dal (Secular) had also co-opted Vijayapura where party leaders believe they stand a better chance having won a higher number of Assembly seats.
However, JD(S)’ counter is that Congress leaders dumped Udupi-Chikkamagaluru, Uttara Kannada, Bengaluru North and Vijayapura on them because the Congress does not have strong enough candidates to lock horns with the BJP candidates.
‘The Janata Dal (Secular) has squandered a great opportunity because their leaders are more concerned about numbers than winnability,’ lamented a Congress leader.
Of the eight seats allotted to the JD(S), four are represented by BJP MPs and the fifth, Tumakuru, was won by the Congress in 2014. Considering the level of distrust and dissatisfaction after the seat sharing pact, leaders of both parties could switch to the BJP at the eleventh hour, sources said.