April 2019
7:31 AM IST
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Rahul liar of first order; should apologise to country: BJP on Cong chief''s affidavit in SC        Nation-wide emergency from midnight in Sri Lanka        Pant fires Delhi Capitals to six-wicket win over Rajasthan, go top of table        Shiv Sena asks govt to take over Jet Airways        Congress releases list of six candidates for Delhi Lok Sabha seats        SP-BSP-RLD, an alliance of hearts rather than parties: Akhilesh        CM Nath regime intimidating officials: Shivraj Singh Chouhan        Bairstow and Warner lead Sunrisers to 9-wicket victory        Dhoni''s 84* goes in vain as RCB win 1-run thriller against CSK        Sri Lanka serial blasts : Seven arrested over multiple blasts        Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in Iran        Serial blasts rip through Lanka on Easter Sunday: 228 dead, 450 injured        US confirms deaths of several Americans in Sri Lanka blasts        Pakistan deplores India''s decision to suspend cross-LoC trade        Multiple blasts likely to have "adverse impact" on Lankan tourism: tour operators        Kerala CM condemns terrorist attack in Sri Lanka        French Police detain over 120 people amid Yellow Vest rallies in Paris        Gunmen kill 2 in north Nigeria        Amit Shah: K Surendran represents believers all over world        Asking vote for those who insulted Ambedkar is stooping to new low: Yogi to Mayawati        
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National News
Cong-JDS to campaign jointly, vow to reduce BJP to single
Bengaluru,Mar 19 (PTI) The ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka Tuesday said they would jointly campaign for the Lok Sabha polls and vowed to reduce the BJP to a "single digit" in the state.

Leaders of both parties said they would resolve all the issues and fight the polls unitedly, amid tension between them at the local level.

The alliance partners also gagged their partymen from airing any differences to the media.

TheCongress and JD(S) have decided to launch their joint campaign on March 31 by organising a mammoth rally near Bengaluru, likely to be attended by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

"Our relentless fight is for keeping our (Congress and JDS) 12 seats with ourselves, and win majority of the 16 seats that is with the BJP, as we are going together in this polls," JD(S) chief and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda said.

Addressing a joint press conference along with Congress leaders, he said, "I'm not saying this with pride, we will not allow them (BJP) to see two digits..will not allowthem to reach two digits.."

"Our primary objective is to stop the communal forces," he added, as he also expressed confidence that the alliance will not only make efforts to win the seats, but will win.

In the 2014 general election, BJP had bagged 17, Congress 9 and JD(S) two seats. However in the bypolls, the BJP had yielded the Bellary seat to Congress.

Coalition leaders, including Gowda, Chief Minister H DKumaraswamy, coalition coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah and Karnataka PCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao held a long meeting Tuesday morning.

It followed a similar meeting involving AICC general secretary K C Venugopal late on Monday night to discuss poll preparations and campaigning.

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara was conspicuous by his absence at the meeting and press conference.

Sources said he was upset with Congress leadershipfor ceding Tumkur seat, his home turf, to JD(S), despite the party having its sitting MP there. However, both the KPCC chief and Parmeshwara himselfmaintained that he was out of town to attend a pre-scheduledevent.

Against the backdrop of seat sharing, both parties have decided to resolve the differences at the local level immediately, without giving any opportunity for it to continue further, Gowda said.

He said "before the filing of nomination,resolving few minor differences that are there is our duty. Time is very short, we are working on it.

If there are anydifferences between both the parties in any of the constituency, coalition leaders, including me, Siddaramaiah, Kumaraswamy should resolve it."

Gagging party men from making statements to the media, Gowda said from now on MLAs or district leaders of both Congressand JD(S) should not be airing any differences to the media, and if there are any issues it should be addressed withcoalition leaders.

"I have requested Siddaramaiah that both parties should appoint spokespersons who can speak to the media.

We should not allow any one to speak differentiating between the Congress and JD(S). There should be one united reaction onthe decisions we take," he said.

He appealed to MLAs, Ministers and leaders of both parties to abide by the decision and have a united voice.

The Congress will contest 20 Lok Sabha seats and JD(S)eight under a deal between the coalition partners finalisedlast week.

The Congress and JD(S) that had bitterly fought each other in the May 2018 assembly polls had sewed up a post pollalliance after a hung verdict with the BJP emerging as the single largest party but falling short of required numbers.

For the coalition to emerge as a formidable oppositionto the BJP, and win more number of seats, it is crucial for theCongress to transfer its votes to JD(S), and vice-versa.

Conceding that there are some minor issues between both parties at few places, Kumaraswamy said, they can be resolved and coalition leaders were working to resolve them.

"Both parties are going ahead for the polls with an aim to win all 28 seats in the state, and I'm confident we will be successful," he said.

Karnataka will go for polls in two phases, on April 18 and 23.

Coordination committee chief and CLP leader Siddaramaiah said list of candidates will be finalised and announced in a couple of days.

"Partymen from both Congress and JD(S) have been given strict instructions that, even if there are minor differences, forgetting all of them, keeping BJP's defeat as our main aim, everyone should work with unity," he said.

One observer each from both parties will be appointed at all constituency levels for coordination.

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