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Cong, JD(S) agree on 20-8 seat deal in K'taka

Cong, JD(S) agree on 20-8 seat deal in Ktaka

Bengaluru: The Congress will contest 20 seats and JD(S) eight in the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka under a deal finalised by the two ruling coalition partners on Wednesday after weeks of haggling.

The deal was hammered out at a meeting between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali at Kochi in Kerala this evening, the JDS said.

The Lok Sabha constituencies that JD(S) will contest are Uttara Kannada, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Tumkur, Hassan, Mandya, Bengaluru North and Vijayapura.

JD(S) tweeted about the constituencies from where its candidates will be contesting from, on its official twitter handle. "@INCIndia @JanataDal_S seat sharing for Karnataka #LokSabhaPolls2019 is confirmed. 20 for Congress and 8 for JDS," Karnataka Pradesh Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao said.

JD(S) had won Hassan and Mandya Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general election. The Congress had bagged nine and BJP 17. However in the bypolls, the BJP had yielded the Bellary seat to Congress.

During a recent meeting with Rahul Gandhi at New Delhi, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda had scaled down his party's demand and asked the national party to allot at least 10 out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats. The JD(S) had earlier demanded that it be given 12 seats to contest, banking on two-third, one-third formula adopted in ministry formation and allocation of posts of heads of state-run boards and corporations. According to party sources, JD(S) bagged Tumkur seat after a hard bargain as the grand old party had decided not to cede the constituencies where the party has a sitting MP to the regional partner.

The Congress' S P Muddahanumegowda is current MP from Tumkur, and is a ticket aspirant. Mysore-Kodagu was another constituency that JD(S) had demanded from the old Mysuru region, but could not bag it due to opposition from Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah as the seat is in his home turf,the sources said.

Sharing of seats from old Mysuru region was an acid test for both the parties as the JD(S) considers it as its bastion, and the Congress has its sitting members from most of the seats there. The Congress and JD(S), which fought bitterly against each other during 2018 assembly polls, joined hands to form the government as the election threw up a hung verdict. Among the eight seats that JD(S) has got, in Hassan and Mandya the party has its sitting MPs, Tumkur is with Congress, rest five constituencies are represented by the BJP.

While the KPCC chief Wednesday said the party will announce its first list of candidates on March 16, JD(S) is too likely to announce its list in a couple of days.

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