After days of negotiations, the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) on Wednesday sealed a seat-sharing deal in Karnataka for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. According to the deal, Congress will contest on 20 seats and JD(S) field its candidates on 8 seats. There are 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
As per the deal, JD(S) gets Hassan, Mandya, Bengaluru North, Udupi-Chikamagalur, Bijapur, Shivamogga, Tumakuru and Uttara Kannada. Currently, Tumakuru seat is represented by Congress leader SP Muddahanume Gowda.
Congress will field its candidates from the remaining 20 seats -- Chikkodi, Belagavi, Bagalkot, Haveri, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Koppal, Ballari, Davanagere, Chitradurga, Dharwad, Dakshina Kannada, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Bengaluru Central, Bengaluru South, Bengaluru Rural, Kolar and Chikkaballapura.
The seat-sharing agreement was finalised after a meeting between Congress President Rahul Gandhi and JD-S Secretary General Danish Ali in Kochi on Wednesday evening.
According to reports, the JD(S) had initially demanded 12 seats and was not willing to settle for anything less than that. On the other hand, Congress only wanted to part with six.
JD(S) was keen on contesting from Mandya, Hassan, Bangalore North, Mysuru, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, Chitradurga, Raichur, Bidar, Bijapur, Uttara Kannada and Shivamogga. Congress was opposed to this and maintained that sharing of seats will be based on 'merit'.
JD(S) supporters wanted that the party supremo HD Deve Gowda to contest from Mysore-Kodagu constituency, however, reports suggested that Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy was likely to be the candidate from Mandya.
There were reports earlier that the veteran leader will contest from Mandya, a long time bastion of the party, after deciding to vacate his current constituency Hassan to other grandson Prajewal Revanna, son of minister HD Revanna.