To ensure smooth functioning of the Congress-JDS coalition in the state, the JDS had given up its claim on the Bengaluru North Lok Sabha constituency. Now, the Congress is free to field its candidate from there.
Confirming this, Congress general secretary in-charge of the state, KC Venugopal tweeted: “@INCIndia is thankful to Shri H D Deve Gowda ji and the JD(S) for their kind gesture of giving back the Bengaluru North Lok Sabha seat to the Congress. Together, let us reclaim democracy.”
The constituency was one of eight that the JDS was set to contest as part of the seat-sharing agreement that the two parties had reached. Leaders from the constituency — seven of the eight assembly segments in the constituency were won by the Congress and JD(S) in 2018 — had repeatedly requested former prime minister HD Deve Gowda to contest from there.
However, he decided to contest from the Tumakuru seat. As a result, a senior Congress leader from the constituency said the party had to rethink. “A series of meetings had been held between the seven MLAs (five from the Congress and two from the JD-S) and the unanimous choice was Deve Gowda. No other name had been discussed,” the Congress leader said.
A close aide of former chief minister Siddaramaiah said that the party was now likely to pick former MP BL Shankar to contest as the coalition candidate against union minister DV Sadananda Gowda. Shankar has never won an assembly election and managed only one win in Lok Sabha elections in 1996.