Cong & JD-S on seat sharing in Karnataka in Limbo

Karnataka’s ruling coalition constituents Congress and JD-S get down to brass tacks for the Lok Sabha polls, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said his party should not be treated as “third grade citizens” and that both the partners adopt a “give and take policy” to put up a united fight against the BJP.

With the coalition partners expected to hold talks on the tricky seat-sharing issue amid pressure within the Congress not to cede much to Janata Dal (Secular), Kumaraswamy stressed there should not be any “pettiness” on both sides.

In an interview to PTI, the chief minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma was “fading” with growing anti-incumbency, and pitched for Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the top job while also admitting that there was a lack of consensus among anti-BJP parties on choosing Gandhi.

As his government completed seven months in office, the JD(S) leader downplayed reports of contradictions within the coalition and said he would overcome all the “bitterness” smoothly.

“Both of us (Congress-JD(S)) should go together (in Lok Sabha polls) is our opinion. Because the reason behind forming this government (in Karnataka) is to stop the BJP from coming to power and improve the atmosphere in the country…” Kumaraswamy said when asked whether the JD(S) would go it alone if seat-sharing talks fail.

He said after the formation of the coalition government in the southern state, a lot of changes had taken place in the country’s political landscape, including BJP’s downslide and Congress victory in some bypolls and assembly elections in three states. “…in my opinion if Congress loses its way and tries to move with overconfidence, what will happen they will understand, with their past political experience, I do not think they will forget them.

“They should treat us respectfully. They should not treat us as third grade citizens. There should be give and take policy,” Kumaraswamy said.

The JD(S) has demanded 12 out of 28 seats for the Lok Sabha polls, to which the Congress has expressed its reservations. In the 2014 polls, BJP had won 17 seats in the state, Congress 9 and JD(S) 2 seats.

Union Minister & BJP leader DV Sadananda Gowda: They (Congress) should keep their house in order. They are not able to keep their MLAs in Karnataka together and just simply pin pointing at BJP

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