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In Bengaluru, Cong-JD(S) set to continue alliance

However, now an agreement between the Congress and JD(S) for carrying on their alliance into the second year looks imminent with leaders from both sides indicating the same.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
September 27, 2016 2:53:31 am

A fragile alliance between the ruling Congress party in Karnataka and the opposition JD(S) for the administrative control of the Bruhath Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) looks set to be extended for the second year. This despite the JD(S), which has only 14 councillors, initially demanding the Mayor’s post from the Congress, which has 75 councillors in the 198-member city council.

However, now an agreement between the Congress and JD(S) for carrying on their alliance into the second year looks imminent with leaders from both sides indicating the same.

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An agreement for the continuation of the alliance was arrived at during a meeting of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G Parameshwara, KPCC working president Dinesh Gundurao, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy and JD(S) state president HD Kumaraswamy Sunday.

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Earlier, the JD(S) had made an open offer of support to any party which backed its demand for the Mayor’s post. However, state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa did not take the bait. Following the meeting Sunday, Kumaraswamy said he would take a final call on the alliance after discussions with party supremo and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.

On Monday, the chief negotiator for the Congress, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, said: “The matter is resolved. We have sent a list of councillors who are eligible to be Mayor to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and he will finalise a candidate by Tuesday night.”

This year, the Congress offered the JD(S) the same formula as last year for continuation of the alliance. Under the terms of the alliance, the Congress will get the Mayor’s seat, the JD(S) will get the Deputy Mayor’s post and the parties will split control of the 12 standing committees among themselves and the seven Independents, who are backing the alliance.

However, the negotiations might run aground if three rebel JD(S) MLAs, who have allied with the Congress and have the backing of the majority of JD(S) councillors in the city, demand the Deputy Mayor’s post for their candidate, rather than the one backed by the JD(S) leadership.

The three JD(S) rebels are BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan, Akhanda Srinivasmurthy and K Gopalaiah. The mayoral election in the council is scheduled for Wednesday.

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