Mandya Lok Sabha bypoll: Testing time for coalition’s unity

Bengaluru: With hardly a few weeks to go for the byelections to three Lok Sabha constituencies, there is growing resentment among Congress leaders over its decision to back the  Janata Dal (S) in the Mandya constituency.

While the JD(S) seems confident of winning from Mandya as it won from all seven assembly constituencies in the district in the recent assembly polls, local Congressmen feel Mandya is their party fortress and should not be given to the JD(S) on a platter.  

They fear that once this seat is given to the JD(S),  the Congress will not only lose control of the district permanently but also lose its strong cadre here. 

" Having a post- poll alliance with the JD(S) is  like playing with a snake. You  never know when it will bite you. It will be suicidal if the Congress has a tie-up," says a senior Congress leader. 

Going by sources in the JD(S) , party supremo, H.D. Deve Gowda plans to field one of his grandsons,  Nikhil Kumaraswamy from  Mandya and another,  Prajwal Revanna, from Hassan in the 2019 LS elections. But in the byelection to the Mandya LS seat, he could consider other candidates  as their tenure as MP will be less than four or five months. 

While Mr Deve Gowda is busy working on a strategy to win from Mandya,  former JD(S) MLA,   N Chaluvarayaswamy, who has demanded that the Congress field a candidate in the constituency, is receiving quite a bit of support from  party workers. Going by sources, disgruntled Congress leaders like Cheluvarayaswamy,  Ramesh Bandisiddegowda and  P M Narendraswamy could even stay neutral in the  byelection without campaigning for the JDS candidate.c


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