Bengaluru: Even as the Janata Dal (S) is upping the ante by asking the coalition partner to allow it to contest in 10-12 Lok Sabha seats, ahead of crucial 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress leaders too are not leaving any stone unturned by asking the party central leaders to ensure that the Congress party should protect the "interests" of MPs who won despite the 2014 Modi wave and gave the party a decent footing.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader said on the condition of anonymity, "The Congress party and its leadership is buoyant after its victory in three states in Hindi heartland. We need to apprise them about the ground realities. When we look at the Assembly poll statistics and Lok Sabha poll statistics there is a huge difference. It is Congress which gives the BJP a run for its money in most of Lok Sabha seats and not JD(S). The JD(S) enjoys sizeable clout only when it contests Assembly seats."
" Hence, a section of leaders in New Delhi have decided to bring it to the attention of the party central leaders that they must to compromise the interests of Congress Lok Sabha members who have withstood the Modi wave in 2014."
Of the 10 Congress Lok Sabha members, the most on edge are the MPs from Tumakuru, Chikkaballpura, Chamrajnagara and Raichuru as they feel that their seats might be handed over to the JD(S) patriarch H. D. Deve Gowda, if he has his way during the crucial seat distribution talks with Congress leaders in New Delhi this week.
Reacting cautiously on this issue, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, Dinesh Gundu Rao said that there was nothing wrong in the sitting MPs stepping up pressure on retaining their seats. "Every MP will do that. We have nowhere discussed about changing sitting MPs as of now. But ultimately, in our party it is the party central leaders' decision that will be respected, even if someone has to sacrifice. We along with HD(S) will discuss and sort out such issues when we sit down for seat sharing talks," he said.
While his counterpart, KPCC working president, Eshwar Khandre was more forthcoming and asserted that it was natural for any leader who has withstood the Modi-wave in 2014 to stake his claims in the 2019 polls too. "Our single minded motto in this elections is to defeat the communal forces. Sometimes, we may have to sacrifice something to achieve much bigger results," he said cryptically and dropped enough hints that the Congress was ready to accommodate JD(S) in a much bigger role....