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Last Updated : Dec 04, 2019 03:40 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Karnataka: Senior Congress leaders eye pact with JD(S), CM post after bypolls

Owing to his earlier association with the JD(S), sections within the state Congress see former CM Siddaramaiah as an "outsider" and did not like him having the final say in selection of party candidates

Ahead of the Assembly bypolls in Karnataka, speculation is rife that the Indian National Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) might revive their alliance in case the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fails to get the required numbers.

BJP needs to win at least six of the 15 seats heading for bypolls, to retain majority in the House.

This possibility has made some senior Congress leaders in the state active, The Economic Times has reported.

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According to the report, Congress leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, M Veerappa Moily and G Parameshwara, among others, were reportedly upset with former chief minister Siddaramaiah and had taken a backseat during campaigning for the bypolls.

The report suggests that owing to his earlier association with the JD(S), sections within the state Congress saw Siddaramaiah as an "outsider" and did not like him having the final say in selection of party candidates. Several senior leaders of the party had therefore reportedly created an impression that Siddaramaiah would be solely responsible for the party's win or loss.

However, with speculations of the Congress and the JD(S) coming together gaining traction, some leaders are eyeing the chief minister’s post if the BJP ends up in minority, the report adds.

The report also suggests that, while JD(S) has been sending mixed signals regarding an alliance with Congress, the party's supremo, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda has specifically stated that the party would not join hands with Siddaramaiah.

According to the report, leaders from both the parties have seen this as an indication that the JD(S) might be open to allying with the Congress if Siddaramaiah is kept out.

"I am aware of how the coalition collapsed in Karnataka. After the 2018 Assembly elections, when Congress leaders approached me requesting an alliance, I had asked them to make Kharge, Parameshwara or Muniyappa the CM," Gowda had said on November 2.

However, senior Congress leaders told the newspaper that it is too early to comment on the topic and that the party high command would take a call on the issue if and when the need arises.

"The party leaders will unitedly take a call on who should lead the government," a leader told the newspaper.

The report also suggests that the BJP has a plan B ready if it fails to win six seats required for the government to survive. The party has claimed that it is in touch with some JD(S) legislators who are willing to switch sides in case the BJP does not get enough seats in the bypolls.

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First Published on Dec 4, 2019 03:40 pm
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