Issues Over Uniting Congress-JDS Workers: Deve Gowda Ahead Of Bypolls

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Deve Gowda said he would visit Mandya and Ramanagara to try and sort out the issues

Bengaluru:

With just three days left for by-polls in Karnataka, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda Wednesday conceded there are issues over uniting Congress and JD(S) workers at the grass root level, considered as arch rivals, in some constituencies.

"In Mandya there is not much harmony (among workers of both parties), because we took a decision in just one or two weeks (to go for by-polls together)," Mr Gowda said.

Speaking to reporters in Shivamogga, the JD(S)supremo said "still to an extent at the grass root level, there are issues with regard to uniting workers. I'm not hiding anything from you".

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Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah had also recently spoken about "initial hitches" between workers of both parties.

By-polls for three Lok Sabha constituencies-Shivamogga, Ballari and Mandya and two assembly segments- Ramanagara and Jamkhandi, will take place on November 3.

The counting of votes will be on November 6.

The Congress and JD(S), the ruling coalition partners in Karnataka, have decided to fight the by-polls unitedly against the BJP.

Congress has fielded its candidates in Jamkhandi and Ballari and the JD(S), in Shivamogga, Ramanagara and Mandya.

Mr Gowda said he would visit Mandya and Ramanagara to try and sort out the issues and added that Congress MP K D Suresh was working for the victory of the JD(S) candidate in Ramanagara.

The two parties which had bitterly fought against each other in the assembly polls, especially in the old Mysuru region, decided to join hands to form a government as the May 12 assembly polls threw up a hung verdict.

The ruling coalition's decision to fight the election unitedly is facing stiff opposition in Mandya and Ramanagara, as most of the party workers and local leaders are opposed to the party ceding to JD(S) by not fielding its candidate.

The Mandya Lok Sabha constituency and Ramanagara assembly constituency that come under old Mysuru region are dominated by Vokkaligas, a community considered a strong votebase for the JD(S).

Congress is supporting JDS candidate Shivarame Gowda in Mandya and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's wife Anita Kumaraswamy in Ramanagara by not fielding its candidate.

As Congress too has a considerable vote base in the region, a large section of local party leaders and workers have expressed strong opposition to support the JD(S) candidate at several party meetings recently.

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