The Congress wants to spur its campaign for the Lok Sabha bypolls next month by inviting party president Sonia Gandhi to the state.
State Congress leaders are planning to call on Sonia in New Delhi on July 25, and invite her to Karnataka. They plan to felicitate her for leading the party to victory in the Assembly elections.
The Congress is gung-ho about wresting both the Mandya and Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha seats in the bypolls. Both Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G Parameshwara and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah exude confidence of winning these two seats, which are currently held by their arch-rivals in the Old Mysore region, the JD(S).
Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara met at the latter’s house for over an hour on Sunday and reportedly discussed the party’s strategy to win the elections. The names of D K Suresh (brother of Kanakapura MLA D K Shivakumar), former Lok Sabha member Tejaswini Gowda and former MLA C M Lingappa are being considered for Bangalore Rural seat while the names of DCC president B S Athmananda and former MLA L R Shivaramegowda are being considered for Mandya seat, party sources said.
In the recent Assembly elections, Congress won three Assembly seats each in Mandya and Bangalore Rural, while the JD(S) won four and three seats. “Under the changed circumstances, the Congress stands a better chance of wresting the seats,” Parameshwara told Express. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Congress candidate M H Ambareesh, presently the Housing Minister, lost the Mandya seat by a margin of over 24,000 votes to JD(S) candidate N Cheluvarayaswamy. In Bangalore rural, JD(S) candidate H D Kumaraswamy, presently the Opposition leader in the Assembly, trounced then BJP candidate C P Yogeshwara by a margin of over 1.30 lakh votes. All four are presently MLAs. Parameshwara said the morale of the Congress was boosted as the party has formed the government after nine years.