Mangaluru, Feb 26, 2019: The seat-sharing arrangement between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) in the State for the Lok Sabha polls is likely to be finalised by March 1, said Eshwar Khandre, working president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) here on Monday.
Talking to reporters, Mr. Khandre said KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao has already completed the preliminary talks.
There will be another meeting between leaders of the two parties shortly. After seeking the agreement of party leaders in New Delhi, the arrangement will be finalised.
“We hope to complete the process and make the announcement by March 1,” he said.
Mr. Khandre said it has been agreed that the parties will retain seats they won in the last Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress had won 10 seats, while the Janata Dal (Secular) had won two seats. It was also agreed that the party that was strong in an area should be given the ticket.
“There are claims by the local Janata Dal (Secular) party workers for party ticket where we have won and vice-versa,” he said in reply to the Janata Dal (Secular)’s demand for Chickaballapur and Mandya constituencies.
“We are sorting out these issues amicably. Our sole aim remains winning maximum seats and keeping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out,” he said.
Though voters in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi turned away from the party in the 2018 Assembly elections, Mr. Khandre hoped that the Congress candidates will win in coastal Karnataka in the Lok Sabha elections.
On the chances of senior Congress leader B. Janarandhana Poojary getting party ticket from Dakshina Kannada, Mr. Khandre said it was under consideration.
With regard to a recent press meet of minority leaders not favouring the former Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake as the party candidate from Dakshina Kannada, Mr. Khandre said the activists were free to express their opinion on probable candidates. While denying reports that his wife was in contention for ticket from Bidar constituency, Mr. Khandre said the party was looking at winnable candidates, which included his own family members, for the seat that was presently held by the BJP.