Lok Sabha Elections 2019: HD Deve Gowda Picks Tumkur to Contest; Ally Congress' Sitting MP Firm on Challenging Him
File image of former PM H D Deve Gowda (Photo Credits: PTI)

Bengaluru, March 23: The Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition received a fresh jolt in poll-bound Karnataka after JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda picked the Tumkur constituency to contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019. In what could further deepen the cracks between two alliance partners, the Congress' sitting MP from the seat, SP Muddahanumegowda has objected to the 86-year-old former prime minister's potential candidature from his constituency.

"Elected representatives and all local leaders want me to contest. That is why on Monday, (March 25) we will start a procession from BGS circle to DC office and I will file nomination with the support of all our leaders as the Congress candidate for Tumkur," Muddahanumegowda said.

JD(S) earlier on Saturday confirmed that former Prime Minister and JD (S) supremo HD Deve Gowda will contest from the same town. Tumkur is one of the eight Lok Sabha seats conceded to the JD(S) as part of the seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress in Karnataka.

JD (S) spokesperson Ramesh Babu had announced that Deve Gowda will contest from the Tumkur parliamentary constituency as the combined candidate of JD (S) and the Congress.Soon after the announcement, Muddahanumegowda, expressed his dissatisfaction and said the decision was "not correct".

"What is coalition? What is coordination? I'm a sitting MP from here and I have delivered at the floor of the House. Why have you denied me the ticket? It is not correct," Muddahanumegowda told reporters here.

The Congress will contest on 20 seats and JD (S) the remaining eight as part of the seat-sharing agreement reached between the two parties for the total 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka.

On March 19, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that the Congress and JD (S) will be fighting together in the impending Lok Sabha elections, in order to prevent the BJP from making strides in the state.

"We decided that we have to face the BJP together. Our focus is to keep BJP at a bay in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections and win as many seats as possible. Even in the by-elections, we fought together and won the elections in Bellary, Jamkhandi, and Ramanagara," Kumaraswamy had said.

Karnataka will go to polls during the second and third phases of polling on April 18 and April 23, respectively. Results will be announced on May 23. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 17 seats from Karnataka while the Congress bagged nine seats and JD(S) got two.

(With ANI inputs)