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JD(S)-Congress seat sharing: Final call on March 10

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, Mar 07: The JD(S) and Congress would take a final call on the number of seats both parties would contest in Karnataka on March 10. While a broad understanding has been reached, the two parties would meet again on March 10 and take a call.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi meets former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (S) leader HD Deve Gowda at the latters residence in New Delhi

Scaling down his party's demand, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda on Wednesday asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to allot at least 10 out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka to his party.

The Janata Dal (Secular) had earlier demanded that it be given 12 seats to contest.

After Gandhi met Gowda at the latter's residence, the JD(S) said the seat-sharing agreement is likely to be finalised shortly and will be announced by March 10.

At the two-hour meeting, Gandhi and Deve Gowda broadly discussed seat sharing in Karnataka, prevailing political situation in the country and the need for opposition unity.

AICC's general secretary in Karnataka K C Venugopal and JD(S) national general secretary Danish Ali were present at the meeting.

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"Gandhi discussed about seat sharing in Karnataka. This is the first such discussion between the two parties... Earlier, I had asked for 12 seats. At the meeting, I requested Rahulji to give at least 10 seats to the JD(S)," Gowda told reporters.

Asserting that the objective of the pre-poll alliance is to win the elections, Gowda said the Congress chief will take a final call on the seat-sharing arrangement after taking inputs from Ali and Venugopal.

The ruling coalition partners in Karnataka have held formal talks + on seat sharing at the state level.

Ali said, "Some issues which were not discussed at the meeting have been left to me and Venugopal to decide and finalise."

The Congress would contest two-thirds of the seats and the JD(S) will get the rest, he said.

"However, seat wise, we have to discuss and finalise. We are going to reach a decision shortly and will announce it by March 10," he noted.

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