Congress chief Rahul Gandhi reached out to JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda to finalise the alliance deal, making Karnataka the fourth State after Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu where the Congress will take on the juggernaut of Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls.
Rahul and Gowda had a meeting at the latter’s residence where the seat-sharing agreement was discussed threadbare. The outcome is likely to be announced by this weekend. In the two-hour meeting, Rahul and Gowda broadly discussed seat sharing in Karnataka, prevailing political situation in the country and the need for Opposition unity.
Sources said it was decided that the Congress would contest 18-19 of the total 28 seats and the JD(S) will get the rest. Gowda, who has been demanding at least 13 seats, scaled down his claim to ten.
“Rahul discussed about seat sharing in Karnataka. This is the first such discussion between the two parties. Earlier, I had asked for 12 seats. At the meeting, I requested Rahulji to give at least 10 seats to the JD(S),” said Gowda.
“Some issues which were not discussed at the meeting have been left to me and AICC’s general secretary in Karnataka KC Venugopal to finalise. We will announce our decision by March 10,” said JD(S) national general secretary Danish Ali.
One of the reasons behind the delay in sealing the deal has been the rift between Gowda and his former protégé, K Siddaramaiah. Tension surfaced after the JD(S) staked claim to Mysore seats, Siddaramaiah’s home turf.