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Cong, JDS to discuss seat sharing for LS polls on March 4

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Press Trust of India Bengaluru
The ruling alliance in Karnataka is likely to discuss seat sharing for the Lok Sabha polls at the coalition coordination committee meeting on March 4, Congress sources said Thursday.
The coalition partners had held first round of talks on seat sharing on February 25, during which the Congress insisted that winnability would be the criteria, while JD(S) maintained its stand to contest for 12 seats.
The coordination committee meeting is expected to discuss the seat sharing, following the initial round of discussions between both the parties recently, Congress sources said.
Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao, deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwara from Congress' side and public works minister H D Revanna, JD(S) state president Adagur H Vishwanath from the regional party's side had met and discussed seat sharing on February 25.
The two parties did not reveal the outcome of the meeting.
However, Rao had termed the meeting as fruitful and said discussions took place for all the 28 seats and added that the candidates would be selected on the merit basis.
The Coordination committee would discussseat sharing further, both parties had said.
According to them, the soletarget is to keep the "communal forces"away and prepare an action plan to defeat the BJP.
TheCongress and JD(S) as per their coalition arrangement have decided to fight Lok Sabha polls together.
However, seat sharing is likely to be a major test for both parties as JD(S) banking on 'two-third, one-third formula' adopted in ministry formation and allocation of boards andcorporations, have sought ten to 12 seats out of the total 28 seats.
According to party sources, JD(S) is said to be keen on contesting from Mandya, Hassan, Bangalore North, Mysuru, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, Chitradurga, Raichur, Bidar, Bijapur, Uttara Kannada and Shivamogga.
The Congress is opposed to this and has maintained thatsharing of seats would be based on "merit".
Party sources said the Congress is looking at limiting the JD(S) share to six seats.
Also, there is pressure from within the Congress not to cede too many seats to JD(S), specially ten seats, where the party has sitting MPs.
According to sources close to the parties, the top leadership, including JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and Congress President Rahul Gandhi, will intervene to take a final call, if need arises.
The coordination committee comprises Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, deputy chief minister and KPCC chief GParameshwara, CLP leader Siddaramaiah, congress general secretary Venugopal and JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali.
While Siddaramaiah is the chairman, Ali is the convener of the coalition coordination and monitoring committee.
KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre Thursday said, they plan to finalise seat sharing by March 10 and start the process of announcement of candidates.

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 8:31 PM IST

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