Bangalore, Aug 5;Former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular president H.D. Deve Gowda Monday denied his party had entered into a tie-up to fight the Aug 21 bypolls to two Lok Sabha seats from Karnataka.
“Reports of a tie up or understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party are baseless,” he told reporters here.
However, the ruling Congress asserted that the JD-S had entered into an “understanding” with the BJP.
The elections are being held for Bangalore Rural and Mandya Lok Sabha seats as H.D. Kumarasway, Gowda’s son, and N. Cheluvarayasway of JD-S quit after winning the Karnataka assembly election May 5.
Mandya is about 80 km from Bangalore.
Though Gowda denied any understanding with the BJP, state BJP chief Pralhad Joshi has been saying that Kumaraswamy had approached them for an understanding and talks were on.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Monday maintained that “JD-S and BJP understanding will help the Congress win both the seats”.
“True colours of JD-S have been exposed and people know who is secular and who is communal,” he told reporters here.
JD-S has fielded Kumaraswamy’s wife Anita Kumaraswamy for the Bangalore Rural seat. Her Congress opponent is D.K. Suresh, brother of Congress legislator and former minister D.K. Shivakumar.
For the Mandya seat, Congress has fielded popular Kannada actress Ramya while the JD-S nominee is former legislator C.S. Puttaraju.
Counting is due on Aug 24.
Winning the bypolls has become a prestige matter for the Congress as these are the first electoral battles it faces after returning to power in the state defeating BJP.
For JD-S, the two constituencies are considered strongholds.