Congress, JDS to fight 2019 Lok Sabha polls in alliance

Rajat Kain

New Delhi: JD(S) leader and Karnataka chief minister-designate HD Kumaraswamy presents a bouquet to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, during a meeting at latter's residence, in New Delhi on May 21, 2018. PTI

New Delhi: JD(S) leader and Karnataka chief minister-designate HD Kumaraswamy presents a bouquet to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, during a meeting at latter’s residence, in New Delhi on May 21, 2018.
PTI

The Congress and the JD(S) will fight 2019 Lok Sabha polls together in Karnataka. The decision was announced as a part of the larger Opposition alliance which may take the battle against the ruling BJP in next Lok Sabha polls. Karnataka gave a glimpse of Opposition’s political mechanisation after several leaders, currently opposed to the BJP, attended the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy last week.

The decision of alliance was announced by the Congress on Friday after it officially confirmed the working out of alliance equation for the state government. However, the parties are yet to work out the contentious seat-sharing for the state which sends 28 MPs.

As reported earlier, the Finance portfolio in Karnataka state government led by Congress-JDS alliance has been given to the latter, while the senior partner will have Home portfolio besides a Deputy Chief Minister.

“Ministry expansion to take place on June 6,” Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy told the press.

The final deal was sealed after Congress president Rahul Gandhi spoke to JD(S) supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda over the phone. Gandhi is away with his mother and former party chief Sonia Gandhi.

There are also reports that Congress has assured Kumaraswamy of his full five-year term, after there were speculations that Congress was having a contrarian view on the issue. The speculations were also fuelled by Deputy CM Parmeswara’s remarks that the issue of Kumaraswamy’s full five year term is yet to be decided.

In a fragile political equation, Congress is a larger party having won 78 seats in the assembly polls and JDS winning 37. The Congress pushed its tally up one more seat after it won the RR Nagar assembly seat on Thursday.

Scheduled polling for RR Nagar was postponed after the controversy following the recovery of over ten thousand voter ID card from a flat on the eve of the polling.

Congress and JDS stitched the alliance on May 15 after the results threw hung house with BJP as a single largest party winning 104 seats. The two had allied before as well 2004 after assembly polls, which too had sent a fractured mandate. The alliance, however, collapsed shortly after two years.

Congress, which led an acrimonious poll campaign against both the BJP and JDS in the run-up to the assembly polls, offered JDS the CM berth ‘unconditionally’ in its bid to the stop the BJP from forming the government in the state.