JD(S) demands 12 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka; blueprint to be prepared soon

New Delhi: As the Congress and its ruling partner JD(S) work out a seat-sharing strategy in Karnataka, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on Tuesday said his party should get 12 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the southern state in the forthcoming general election. The Janata Dal (Secular) supremo also said the blueprint for seat-sharing would first be discussed at the state level by the coalition coordination committee chaired by senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah and, then, finalised by the heads of both the parties after the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

“The seat sharing will be on a 2:1 formula. After the formation of the coalition government, this formula was adopted in allocating portfolios, (heads of) boards and corporations. Naturally, the same formula will apply to Lok Sabha seats,” Deve Gowda told reporters. According to the formula, 11 seats should come to the JD(S) and the party was seeking one extra seat, he said, noting that differences, if any, would be sorted out after deliberating with Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Asked if the JD(S) will go alone in the Lok Sabha polls if the Congress does not agree to give 12 seats to it, the former prime minister said, “That issue will not arise. This formula has been implemented smoothly all these days. No need to come to a hurried conclusion.” “This will be discussed at the state level and, then, at the national level. Ultimately, Rahul Gandhi and myself will discuss and finalise,” he said, adding that the JD(S) had got seats in accordance with this formula in the past, when it had allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In a separate press conference, Congress campaign committee chairman H K Patil said there was “no confrontation and no confusion” between the two coalition partners over seat-sharing.

“Congress national president and JD(S) supremo are capable to resolve any differences in sharing of seats,” Patil told reporters after he met Gandhi, following his appointment as the campaign committee chairman of the state.

Patil alleged that the BJP was making futile efforts to dislodge the Karnataka government, saying the people would give a befitting lesson to those who engage in “unethical practices”.

Earlier when asked about the Karnataka president of the JD(S), H Vishwanath, threatening to quit if he was ignored, Deve Gowda said, “That is created by the local media. There will be no such thing.” He said more powers and bigger roles would be given to JD(S) leaders at all levels.

The former prime minister asserted that the coalition government was strong and was not in jeopardy. “The government will run smoothly, whatever may be the situation created by the media.”

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