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Karnataka by-elections 2019: Congress high command to decide on alliance with JDS, says Siddaramiah


Bengaluru, Dec 03: Senior Congress leader K Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said the party leadership would take a call on possible tie-up with JD(S) to form a government in case the ruling BJP fails to retain its majority following the December 5 assembly bypolls in Karnataka.

His statement came even as several of his party colleagues maintained that they were not averse to possibility of a post by-poll alliance.

Senior Congress leader K Siddaramaiah

"No, no such things, high command will discuss and decide about it," Siddaramaiah told reporters in Hunsur in response to a query on discussions on alliance with JD(S). Earlier speaking to reporters in Mysuru, he said, there was no internal understanding betweenCongress and JD(S) during the bypolls, and both parties were seriously fighting against each other.

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To another question on veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge's recent statement about giving "good news" after bypolls results on December 9, he said, ".... it means we (Congress) will win in all 15 seats."

Several Congress leaders including Kharge have said the party was not averse to the possibility of joining hands with JD(S)once again to form a government, even as there were mixed signals from the regional party on post by-elections alliance.

The Congress and JD(S), who ran a coalition government for 14 months in the state and contested Lok Sabha polls in alliance, have parted ways after the collapse of the H D Kumaraswamy ministry in July following the rebellion by 17 MLAs, and are contesting the bypolls independently.

Siddaramaiah and JD(S) leaders- H D Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy had indulged in war of words and accused each other as responsible for the collapse of the coalition government in the state.

The ruling BJP led by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa needs to win at least six seats in the bypolls to 15 constituencies to remain in a majority in the 224-member assembly, which would still have two vacant seats-- Maski and R R Nagar.

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Claiming that people were angry about disqualified legislators as they were "destroying" democracy, Siddaramaiah said, they have sold themselves for money and have insulted the voters. Accusing the BJP of 'misusing' government machinery during the bypolls, he said people have decided to voted for the Congress in all 15 constituencies.

Among 15 constituencies going to the bypolls, 12 were held by Congress and three by JD(S), whose coalition government collapsed due to rebellion by the disqualified MLAs.

With winning majority of seats being crucial for the government's survival, BJP has fielded 13 of the 16 disqualified legislators who joined the party as its candidates from their respective constituencies.

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