Amid the rift between Congress and JD(S) alliance in Karnataka over the Lok Sabha seat of Tumkur, sitting Congress MP SP Muddahanumegowda on Monday filed nomination to contest from Tumkur seat where JD(S) chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda had earlier announced his nomination.
As the tussle over the Tumkur seat heightened, massive protest broke against JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda on the streets of the district on Monday while the former PM was heading ahead to file his nomination from the conflicted seat. Several women went on the streets to fight against HD Deve Gowda saying that the JD(S) did nothing for development in the district.
Muddahanumegowda's decision goes against the seat sharing arrangement reached between the Congress and JD(S), according to which Tumkur seat has gone to the regional party.
If Muddahanumegowda contests from Tumkur as a rebel, it will add to the Congress-JD(S) coalition worries as the alliance is facing backlash at several places, including Mandya and Hassan, with party workers unhappy with the seat arrangements.
Congress leader and Deputy CM of the state G Parameshwara spoke on the issue, saying: "We didn’t expect, but high command wanted to fight with JD(S). Tumkur was never supposed to be given to JD(S). I personally asked Gowda to fight from some other constituency. But now that he decided to fight from the Tumkur seat thus we have to support that. We need to see that he wins there."
In Tumkur, there is simmering discontent within the Congress' local leadership about ceding the seat to JD(S), despite party having a sitting MP there. For the coalition to emerge as a formidable opposition to BJP and win more number of seats, it is crucial for the Congress to transfer its votes to JD(S) and vice-versa, including Mandya.
Meanhwhile, the BJP has fielded G S Basavaraj as its candidate from Tumkur.
Gowda's other son and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil is the candidate from the JD(S) bastion of Mandya. The Congress and JD(S), that had bitterly fought against each other ahead of May 2018 assembly polls, decided to join hands to form a coalition government as the election threw up a hung verdict.
(With PTI inputs)