Congress MPs worry over pact with JD(S) for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, fear giving up their seats
Even as the Congress leadership is struggling to tackle the dissidence among its MLAs that has erupted over ministerial berths, there are signs of trouble from its Members of Parliament(MPs) too.
BENGALURU:Even as the Congress leadership is struggling to tackle the dissidence among its MLAs that has erupted over ministerial berths, there are signs of trouble from its Members of Parliament(MPs) too. The MPs have expressed their apprehensions about the effect of a pre-poll alliance with the JD(S) for the 2019 Lok Sabha election in the state on their own political future. They conveyed their worries at a meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister and KPCC president G Parameshwara on Sunday.
As the party leadership has already announced the pre-poll pact with JD(S), the latter is expected to demand about 8 to 10 Lok Sabha seats to contest in the state. JD(S) presently has just 2 members in the Lok Sabha from the state from Hassan and Mandya. Many Congress MPs reportedly expressed their concern about some of them having to give up their own constituencies to JD(S) if the latter talks tough at the negotiating table.
Karnataka has 28 Lok Sabha seats. According to sources, JD(S) is said to have demanded 10 seats, leaving 18 for Congress to contest. JD(S) is said to be eyeing Shivamogga, Chitradurga, Raichur, Chikkaballapur, Hassan, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Tumakuru, Bengaluru North and Bijapur constituencies which has not gone down well with the Congress MPs.
The members also expressed their displeasure for not taking them into confidence while deciding the ministerial berths and wanted the party leadership to resolve the dissidence at the earliest as it could have an adverse impact on their prospects in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Parameshwara said, “MPs have conveyed their concern about the poll pact with JD(S) for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. We also discussed the issues related to the appointment of new KPCC president. Their apprehensions would be considered while finalising the seat-sharing pact with the JD(S) for Lok Sabha polls. I will convey all the suggestions of the MPs to the party high command.”
The Congress national leadership has struck a note of caution and said it will not ignore the interests of its state leaders for the sake of regional tie-ups.Congress media head Randeep Surjewala told PTI that while the party has a time-tested policy of working with ideologically compatible parties, it will not abandon the interests of its state leaders. He made the case for state-specific alliances while arguing for a larger coalition with like-minded parties in “national interest”.
Loyalist Cong MLAs to take on dissidents
A group of Congress MLAs led by B A Basavaraja has come together with a strong demand for tough action against the dissidents. Basavaraja, a staunch loyalist of former CM Siddaramaiah, who has taken the lead for a counter offensive against the dissidents, has convened a meeting of young, loyalist Congress MLAs on Monday.
Coordination committee meeting on June 14
The first meeting of the JD(S)-Congress Coordination and Monitoring Committee, headed by Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramiah, will be held on June 14. The committee has been constituted as part of the coalition agreement to address any hiccups in the running of the government.