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Next challenge for Karnataka Congress would be the by-polls

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Bengaluru, Aug 01: The Congress in Karnataka will kick-start preparations for the by-elections in 17 constituencies, necessitated by the disqualification of rebel legislators, by holding a meeting of senior leaders on Thursday, top party sources said on Wednesday.

Stating that there can be only coordination or understanding with the JD(S), a top party functionary said party workers were "happy that in a way we are out of alliance now."

Next challenge for Karnataka Congress would be the by-polls

He said preparations for the bypolls would start soon and added a meeting of senior party leaders have been convened on Thursday and senior party leaders will be given responsibility of constituencies.

After disqualification, Congress expels 14 rebels

"We don't know when the byelection will come, what the court ruling will be (on disqualified MLAs) we are not sure, but immediately we will be deputing leaders giving them responsibility of each constituencies," he said.

As most disqualified MLAs are from the Congress, the process will have to begin to search for new candidates.

"Some places strong candidates have gone, they have won two, three, four times...individual leaders will travel in the constitutencies and assess the situation and find the candidate also," he said, adding that "it won't be easy for those who have left us too."

Seventeen rebel MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) were disqualified on Sunday by the then assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar under the anti-defection law based on the complaint by their respective parties citing anti-party activities.

Fourteen MLAs from the Congress and three from JD(S) had abstained from the trust vote on July 23, when the H D Kumaraswamy government collapsed.

Responding to a question on continuity of alliance with JD(S), the Congress leader said, he didn't see the party fighting election in alliance but can try for having an understanding.

Timeline of Karnataka political crisis; How it began and how BSY became CM

"What kind of understanding will depend on the situation, as we did during the local body polls, or else both parties will not get any benefit," he said.

"From workers to leaders no one is in favour of alliance, party workers are happy that we have come out," he further noted.

The appointment of new KPCC office bearers has to happen and the plan is to do it in a month's time, sources said, "but our primary focus will be on the by-elections."

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