Karnataka Lok Sabha polls: JD(S) on edge as Congress yet to rein in rebels

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BENGALURU: With just 10 days left for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, the Congress is still trying to contain dissidence in Mandya and Tumukuru, and partially succeeded in Mysuru.Dealing a massive blow to the JD(S)-Congress alliance, several Congress leaders from Mandya defied the party line and openly refused to support JD(S) candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy at a meeting with former chief minister and Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on Sunday. The meeting was called to quell disgruntlement in the Congress camp in the Old Mysuru region over the pact with the JD(S).“Why should we support a candidate, whose father [chief minister HD Kumaraswamy] is looking to finish us off politically and who has not heeded the coalition dharma by refusing to share power with us in Mandya in the last nine months?” an angry Congress leader from Mandya reportedly said at the marathon meeting.While
Siddaramaiah said he will hold another meeting on Monday, former minister N Cheluvarayaswamy told reporters, “Siddaramaiah asked us to work for the JD(S)- Congress candidate in Mandya. But we have told him that we will take a decision after consulting our party workers. JD(S) leaders should not force us to work for them, especially when they have eight MLAs and two MLCs from the district.