Congress-JD(S) standoff over Tumkur seat: Deve Gowda, sitting MP file nominations

Muddahanumegowda filed his nomination for Tumkur despite a request made by K'taka Deputy CM G Parmeshwara to 'obey the coalition dharma'.

Tumkur: Tensions between Congress-Janata Dal(Secular) became more intense after both, JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and Congress sitting MP SP Muddahanumegowda, filed their nomination from Tumkur parliamentary constituency on Monday.

While Deve Gowda filed his nomination as the Congress-JD(S) candidate from the Tumkur constituency, Muddahanumegowda submitted his nomination as the Congress candidate.

Ahead of the General elections, this rising tension comes despite the fact that under the seat-sharing arrangement announced earlier, it was agreed between the two political parties that Congress will contest 20 seats and JD(S) eight out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

"I have filed my nomination as a Congress candidate. I request my leader and JD(S) to reconsider their decision and give me the ticket to contest from Tumkur. I am confident that I will get back the seat," Muddahanumegowda told media persons here after filing his nomination.

Muddahanumegowda filed his nomination for Tumkur despite a request made by Congress leader and Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parmeshwara on Sunday to "obey the coalition dharma".

Later speaking to media, Deve Gowda said: "I'm MP in Lok Sabha since 1991 and I have been the Prime Minister also. Many leaders wanted me to contest but I was not keen. However, Opposition leaders like Farooq Abdullah, Mamata Banerjee, Ghulam Nabi Azad and others suggested that I contest the election."

He added, "I know when we took the decision that I will contest from Tumkur seat, it might have hurt the sitting MP. I don't want to hurt him and Congress leaders conveyed everything to him. I know the decisions of Congress leaders. I chose to contest from Tumkur on the demand of many Congress and JD(S) leaders."

On March 23, JD(S) had confirmed that Deve Gowda will contest from Tumkur, one of eight Lok Sabha seats conceded to the party as part of the seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress in Karnataka.

However, Muddahanumegowda announced that he will file his nomination as the Congress candidate from Tumkur seat, giving a fresh twist to the state's coalition politics.

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had slammed Congress Muddahanumegowda for “unnecessarily” creating disturbance in the coalition ahead of the polls. He also said that few leaders of coalition partner Congress are creating hurdles for candidates of JD(S).

"Few people in Congress tried to create speed breakers for my candidates. I won't let JD(S) workers do the same. The country is important to me. No matter how much they backstab my candidates, JD(S) workers and I won't do the same for 20 seats allocated to Congress in alliance with us," Kumaraswamy told media persons at Mandya on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy filed nomination as Congress-JD(S) coalition candidate from Mandya.

Karnataka will go to polls during the second and third phases of Lok Sabha polling on April 18 and April 23, respectively. Results will be announced on May 23.

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