Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah alleged on Thursday JDS was not contesting the coming Assembly and Lok Sabha by-elections in north Karnataka as the party wants its “marginal votes” to go to the ruling BJP in the State. His comments a day after JDS patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda said his party would not field candidates as it did not have the funds to fight the bypolls.
Bypolls for Belgaum (Belagavi) Lok Sabha, and Basavakalyan, Sindgi and Maski Assembly seats are due and the schedule is expected to be announced by the Election Commission soon. Siddaramaiah, also Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, told reporters here that the JDS was not strong in these constituencies.
“They want their marginal votes also to go to BJP.Hence, JDS is not contesting,” he claimed.
Senior JDS MLC, Basavaraj Horatti was elected Chairman of the Karnataka Legislative Council on Tuesday with the support of the BJP amid indications that the two parties are warming up to each other. To a question on the ongoing agitation demanding ST (Scheduled Tribe) status to the Kuruba (shepherd) community, to which he also belongs, Siddaramaiah said when he was Chief Minister he had ordered a ‘Kulashastra Adhyayana’ (ethnographic study) about categorising Kurubas into ST category.