Udupi: Should JD(S) supremo, H D Deve Gowda have his way on seat sharing with his coalition partner, the Congress, the party's coastal leaders are hoping it will be able to contest the Lok Sabha poll from the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru constituency.
Although the coastal region is a stronghold of the BJP and Congress, JD(S) leaders here are eyeing the segment as it covers a big section of Chikkamagaluru district, where the party has a strong base.
"We have a good presence in the region. If the Congress supports our candidate, it will be easy for us to win from the constituency," JD(S) leader, M B Sadashiva told the Deccan Chronicle.
Many in the party believe former minister, Jayaprakash Hegde could be the right choice and should be persuaded to return to the party to contest from the constituency as he created history by grabbing it from the BJP in the 2012 byelection, albeit as a Congress candidate, having quit the JD(S) to join it at the time.
Although he is currently with the BJP, having quit the Congress after his defeat from the constituency in the 2014 LS poll, JD(S) leaders are hoping the opposition he is encountering in the saffron party will persuade him to return to it.
"If Hegde is fielded as a consensus candidate by the JD(S) and Congress he could win the election. Efforts are on to contact and persuade him," said party sources.
But Congress leaders don't seem to share the JD(S)'s views. "The JD(S) may have a base in Chikkamagalur district, but has hardly any presence in Udupi. And if it chooses to field Jayaprakash Hegde, Congress leaders are unlikely to work for him," said a senior Congress leader....