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Lone Voice Ignored, Tie-up with JD(S) Was Not Required for 2019 LS Polls: Cong Leader Siddaramaiah

File photo of former Karnataka chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah.

Siddaramaiah said the Congress high command did not pay heed to his suggestion of going it alone in the Lok Sabha polls because it was a ‘lone voice.’

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: July 8, 2020, 5:21 PM IST

Former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said the alliance with the JD(S) during the Lok Sabha elections last year was ‘not required’ and claimed it cost the party seven to eight seats.

He said the high command did not heed to his suggestion of going it alone in the polls because it was a ‘lone voice.’

Siddaramaiah, the Congress Legislature Party leader, was reacting to Dinesh Gundu Rao’s remarks during the oath taking ceremony of D K Shivakumar as the state Congress president on July 2.

“We have fought with each other for many years in the Old Mysuru region. Hence, the alliance was not required,” Siddaramaiah told reporters in Mysuru.

He claimed if the Congress had not entered into an alliance with JD(S), it would have won seven to eight seats in the Lok Sabha polls.

Explaining the reasons for the defeat, Siddaramaiah said he knew both parties would not get the traditional votes of each other. “Congress won’t get the JD(S) votes and the JD(S) votes won’t go to Congress,” he added.

Asked why the high command did not heed to his suggestion, Siddaraiamah said his was the lone voice. “Mine was a single voice,” he added.

While handing over charge to Shivakumar formally, former Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao had on July 2 said he became state president when the party was going through the coalition pangs.

The party did not get the desired results because people did not like the Congress-JD(S) alliance and the manner in which the coalition government functioned, he said.

The Congress won only one seat in the parliamentary elections in 2019. Subsequently, dissidence hit the alliance and resignation of Congress and JD(S) MLAs brought down the coalition government and resulted in the the BJP coming to power in the state.

The dissidents who were disqualified fought the by-elections in December last year on BJP tickets. Of the 15 seats, the BJP won 12 seats whereas Congress won two.

As a result of the dismal show, Siddaramaiah and Dinesh Gundu Rao resigned as the CLP leader and state Congress chief, respectively. While the party high command allowed Siddaramaiah to continue, Rao’s resignation was accepted and Shivakumar was appointed in his place.

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