Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy today said whether JD(S) and Congress would contest the Lok Sabha polls together would depend on how they were treated by the ally. Kumaraswamy, also the JD(S) state unit chief, however, said the pre-poll alliance with Congress was still on the agenda.
“That is our agenda, it is there. Let us see. Congress, how they are going to treat JD(S),” Kumaraswamy told reporters in response to a question about pre-poll alliance with the Congress with which it is running a coalition government in the state. Asked about the “mahagath bandhan (grand alliance),” he said, “it will continue.”
The Congress and JD(S), which formed a coalition government after the May 12 assembly polls threw up a hung verdict, had announced during the power-sharing pact that they would fight the Lok Sabha polls together. Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in as chief minister on May 23 was attended by a galaxy of top leaders and regional satraps in a rare public show of unity perceived as a possible harbinger of a broad-based anti-BJP alliance ahead of the LokSabha polls.
Seat sharing between Congress and JD(S) for the Lok Sabha polls, especially in the old Mysuru region, is seen as a test for the coalition as both parties are considered arch rivals in the region, where they had bitterly fought against each other during the assembly polls. The chief minister’s comments gain significance at a time when reports suggest that there is growing opposition within the Congress to the pre-poll alliance with JD(S) for Lok Sabha polls. According to sources, several Congress leaders have also warned against conceding constituencies considered stronghold of the party to JD(S), during seat sharing.