Projecting the unity between both the parties ahead of the November 3 bypolls to three Lok Sabha and two assembly seats in the state, Congress and JD(S) leaders appealed to partymen to work unitedly to defeat the BJP.
Terming the BJP as a “common enemy”, the ruling Congress and JD(S) coalition in Karnataka Saturday said their alliance in the state was a message to secular parties across the country to unite to defeat “communal forces” in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Projecting the unity between both the parties ahead of the November 3 bypolls to three Lok Sabha and two assembly seats in the state, Congress and JD(S) leaders appealed to partymen, who had fought bitterly against each other ahead of May 12 assembly polls, to work unitedly to defeat the BJP.
“Our aim is to strengthen the roots of secular system in the state and the country, and thereby get rid of the present government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre which is the cause for several issues in this country,” JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda said.
Addressing a joint press meet organised by the coalition partners, he said, “This is just the preface. We will together win this by-elections. Though we have fought against each other in the past, we will fight together now to defeat communal forces and the system that intends to divide our society.”
The press conference was attended by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara.
Bypolls for three Lok Sabha constituencies – Shivamogga, Ballari and Mandya – and two assembly constituencies – Ramanagara and Jamkhandi – will take place on November 3. Counting of votes will be on November 6.
The Congress has fielded its candidates in Jamkhandi and Ballari and JD(S) in Shivamogga, Ramanagara and Mandya under an electoral understanding.
Siddaramaiah, also coalition coordination committee chief, said keeping the Lok Sabha polls in mind, “We are setting a tone from Karnataka to defeat communal BJP, to unite secular forces and to stop the division of secular votes.”
He said, “If secular forces unite, the BJP cannot win but as secular votes usually gets divided, the BJP gets advantage. So we have to stop it both in the state and at the national level. We have begun this process through our alliance in Karnataka.”
Also expressing confidence that partymen at local level too would work together, he said, “For both our parties, politically and ideologically common enemy is the BJP… So defeating them is our duty and responsibility and we will do it.”
The Congress and the JD(S) bitterly fought against each other ahead of the May 12 assembly elections in the state, especially in old Mysuru region, but they joined hands to form a coalition government as the polls threw up a hung verdict.
Suggesting that the alliance’s victory in the by-elections will be “prelude” for Lok Sabha polls, leaders of both parties hit out at the BJP and accused it of continuing its efforts to gain power by destabilising the coalition government.
Leaders also expressed confidence over the government completing its term.
Hitting out at the Modi-led government, Kumaraswamy accused it of neglecting Karnataka and not doing enough for flood and landslide-hit Kodagu district, despite repeated requests.
Exuding confidence that the coalition would win all the five seats in the bypolls, he said, “We will also together win all 28 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha polls and thereby bring about a change in the national politics.”
Bypolls have been necessitated after BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa (Shivamogga) and B Sriramalu (Ballari), and C S Puttaraju of JD(S) (Mandya) resigned as MPs on their being elected to the assembly.
By-elections to Jamkhandi assembly seat was caused by the death of Congress MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, while Ramanagara fell vacant after Kumaraswamy gave up the seat preferring Chennapatna, the other constituency from where he had won.