Janata Dal (Secular) supremo HD Deve Gowda and Congress sitting MP SP Muddahanumegowda, have both filed their nomination from Tumkur Lok Sabha constituency on Monday, leading to further escalation of tension between the two parties.
While Deve Gowda filed his nomination as the Congress-JD(S) candidate from the Tumkur constituency, Muddahanumegowda submitted his nomination as the Congress candidate.
The clash comes despite the fact that under the seat-sharing arrangement it was agreed between the two parties that Congress will contest 20 seats and JD(S) eight out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
After filing his nomination, Deve Gowda said, "I'm an 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."
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".
"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.
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.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had slammed Muddahanumegowda for "unnecessarily" creating disturbance in the coalition. He also said that few leaders of coalition partner Congress are creating hurdles for candidates of JD(S).
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.