BENGALURU: The Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JDS), the ruling alliance partners in Karnataka, on Monday held a crucial meeting to hold talks over the seat-sharing strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha poll.
"The co-ordination committee discussed seats to be contested by each party," chairman of committee and Congress leader Siddaramaiah said, adding that the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali, KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and Congress working president Eshwar Khandre were present during the meeting.
It is to be noted that both parties are yet to finalise the seat-sharing strategy. "Some more discussions will be held within the parties as per the pre-poll alliance. It will be finalised within a week," said JD-S general secretary Danish Ali.
Ali added that JD-S national president H.D. Deve Gowda is scheduled to meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi soon to give a concrete shape to the seat-sharing agreement. "The main motive of the JD(S) and the Congress is to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and cut its strength in the state," he said.
In 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the BJP had won 17, the Congress nine and the JD(S) two, out of the 28 seats at stake in Karnataka.
Sources said that the Mandya seat has become a bone of contention between the two parties as the JD(S) has decided to nominate Kumarasawmy's son and Deve Gowda's grand son Nikhil Kumaraswamy from this seat.
Mandya has a substantial Vokkaliga population and the JD(S) enjoys complete support of Vokkaligas in the state. It would not be wrong to say that Mandya is a bastion of the Gowdas.
On the other hand, actor Sumalatha, widow of popular Kannada film star Ambarish, has already expressed her willingness to contest from Mandya on Congress ticket.
It is learnt that JD(S) wants to field its candidates in 12 seats out of the total of 28 but the Congress is opposed to this and wants the sharing of seats on the basis of 'merit.'
(with IANS and PTI inputs)