Congress tried to poach JD(S) members to get Mayor’s post in Mysuru: Deve Gowda

Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda on Monday lashed out at the Congress for the alleged bid of leaders of that party to poach JD(S) councillors in order to get the Mayor’s post in the hung Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) council. This attempt failed and so the Congress leaders supported the JD(S) candidate to keep the BJP out of power, he said.

The JD(S) was ready to offer the Mayor’s post to the Congress on the condition that the party would get the post in the next two years, Mr Gowda told presspersons at the national capital on Monday. Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah did not care for the JD(S) and did not speak with JD(S) leaders on the alliance, he added. “I told our leaders such as Sa. Ra. Mahesh to give the Mayor’s post this time to the Congress if Siddaramaiah persisted with the demand, and in the next two years we would get the post. The Congress had to accept the condition. But Siddaramaiah did not care about us and did not speak to our leaders.”

He then claimed that Congress leaders had tried in vain to poach JD(S) councillors to get the Mayor’s post. The former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy camped in Mysuru and ensured the unity of party councillors, Mr. Gowda said.

Rukmini Made Gowda of the JD(S) and Anwar Baig of the Congress were recently elected as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Mysuru, respectively.

Asked about his talks with former Minister and MLA Tanveer Sait, Mr. Gowda said no one spoke to him.

‘Clash of egos’

Though party insiders have described the differences between Mr. Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief D.K. Shivakumar as a “clash of egos”, Mr. Shivakumar termed it “a small local issue” to be sorted out within the party.

Sources said Mr. Siddaramaiah was annoyed over the KPCC president’s interference in the MCC polls, that too ceding the Mayor’s post to the JD(S), without consulting him.

Mr. Sait, who was instrumental in the formation of the tie-up, has defended the alliance. On Monday, supporters of Mr. Sait shouted slogans praising the alliance with the JD(S) at the Congress office in Bengaluru when he came to submit a report on the developments in Mysuru.

Mr. Sait could not submit the report to Mr. Shivakumar since the latter had left for Kolar earlier in the day. Sources said the two would meet on Tuesday.

KPCC working president R. Dhruvanarayana has met the KPCC president and submitted his report on the MCC mayoral polls. Mr. Dhruvanarayana said he has also met Mr. Siddaramaiah and explained to him the developments.

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