18:10: Coalition deal sealed?

Announcement on LS seat sharing to be made by Gowda, Rahul on March 5.

Bengaluru: In an effort to win maximum number of seats in forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, coalition partners in the state government have tentatively drawn up a seat sharing arrangement, with the Congress taking 18 while allowing JD(S) to field candidates in ten constituencies.

A formal announcement on the seat-sharing formula, however, would be made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and JD (S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda in New Delhi on March 5 with the coalition partners emphasizing on winnable candidates in every parliamentary constituency.

By March 5, leaders of both parties hope to iron out contentious issues about sharing seats particularly in Old Mysore region, where candidates of these parties have waged stiff battles in the past.

Congress leaders are unhappy about the Dal (S)'s demand to part with Chikkaballapur and Tumakuru seats, both represented currently by Congress candidates, while large number of party workers are keen to wrest Mandya, Hassan and Mysuru constituencies from Dal (S). Therefore, sharing of seats in Old Mysuru region could well turn out to be an acid test for both parties, as JD(S) considers it as its bastion, and the Congress has its sitting members from most of the seats in this area. The upshot: venue of a formal announcement on the seat-sharing formula has been moved to New Delhi, according to sources in Congress.

The pre-poll alliance and seat-sharing formula was discussed at a meeting here on Monday by KPCC president, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwar and JD(S) state president, A H Vishwanath and PWD Minister, H D Revanna and is likely to be debated further at the coordination committee meeting, scheduled to be held over the weekend, sources added.

Soon after the meeting, Mr Dinesh Gundu Rao and Dr Parameshwar said the main aim of both the parties was to defeat communal forces in the country. Mr Vishwanath and Mr Revanna concurred with the KPCC president and deputy chief minister while denying any differences over seat sharing and maintained that coalition partners were united in their aim to defeat the BJP in all 28 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Meanwhile, former CM and head of the coordination committee, Siddaramaiah, tweeted in the morning "Winnability of candidates will be the only yardstick to decide seat-sharing agreement & we are hopeful that the outcome of the meetings shall satisfy both the parties. Later he told the media in Hubballi: "There is hope that there will be an agreement on seat sharing... no ratio, who will win from where is important."

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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