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'BSP to contest all 28 LS seats in Karna if no poll alliance'

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Press Trust of India Bengaluru
BSP chief Mayawati is yet to take a call on an alliance in Karnataka for the Lok Sabha polls and if a tie up did not work out, they would go it alone in all 28 seats, the party's lone MLA N Mahesh said here Thursday.
"We will contest (Lok Sabha polls); Behenji (Mayawati) has to say...if there is an alliance we will contest in those seats we get. If there is no alliance, we will contest in all 28 seats," he told reporters here.
Mahesh said the process of identifying candidates for the Lok Sabha polls are on and a final decision would be taken at the party's state committee on February 2.
Bahujan Samaj Party leaders, including Rajya Sabha member Ashok Siddharth and in-charge of Karnataka M L Tomar are expected to attend the meeting, he added.
BSP contested in 18 seats during the May 2018 assembly polls in Karnataka as per the alliance arrangement reached with JD(S), which contested in 200 seats and won 37.
Following a fractured verdict, JD(S) joined hands with Congress to form the coalition government.
Mahesh said the party has potential in seats like Chamarajanagara, Mysuru, Bidar, Gulbarga, Chikkodi, Raichur, Chikkaballapura, but would wait to see how a possible alliance takes shape before taking a decision on these seats.
JD(S), which is scheduled to begin seat sharing talks with Congress in the first week on February, has said it intends to contest in 10-12 seats of the total of 28 seats.
However, the Congress is opposed to this and has made it clear that seat sharing will be based on "merit".
Mahesh clarified that he would not be contesting the Lok Sabha polls.
Asked if he would come back to the state cabinet after quitting as Primary and Secondary Education Minister last October, citing personal reasons, he said, "Behanji has to take a call, whatever she says...(will act accordingly)."

Mahesh had said after quitting that he would continue to support the ruling coalition government.
Expressing confidence that the coalition government would complete its full term, he termed the alleged attempts by Congress MLAs to undermine Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy as "unfortunate" and asked its chief Siddaramaiah to control his party MLAs.
"...being in the government side, saying that Siddaramaiah (CLP leader) is still our CM, it is sacrilege... they (Congress MLAs) should not speak like that. Their high command, especially Siddaramaiah, has to control them...I think it will be sorted out in a short time," he added.
Amid strains in Congress-JDS ties, Kumaraswamy on Monday had threatened to step down over adverse comments by a Congress MLA, prompting the coalition partner to swing into damage control mode.
On BJP's reported plans to bring in a no confidence motion against the Kumaraswamy government during the budget session starting from February 6, he said "if they bring it, we will win on the floor of the House...nothing will happen.

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 5:40 PM IST

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