Bengaluru: JD(S) national president HD Deve Gowda on Thursday clarified that the regional party did not have an internal understanding with the Congress for the upcoming December 5 bypolls in Karnataka.

Speculation was rife that the former coalition partners could be working in tandem to ensure the defeat of the disqualified legislators who are contesting as BJP candidates in the bypolls. Even leader of opposition (LoP) Siddaramaiah recently said that the “common goal” for both parties was to defeat the disqualified MLAs. 

Rejecting the speculation, Gowda told reporters, “Why should we field candidates in all constituencies then? We will fight in all constituencies and people will give their verdict.” 

Out of the 15 constituencies going to polls, the JD(S) had fielded candidates in 14 of them, while extending support to the independent candidate in Hoskote. The party now has just 12 candidates, after two of them withdrew their nominations. 

Gowda, the former Prime Minister, said he would take “personal interest” to ensure the victory of the JD(S) in Mahalakshmi Layout, KR Pet and Shivajinagar. The regional party had won Mahalakshmi Layout and KR Pet in the May 2018 Assembly polls. 

“I am taking it as a personal challenge to win the constituency,” Gowda said referring to Mahalakshmi Layout, while hitting out at disqualified legislator K Gopalaiah.

“I believed him, gave him the ticket and made him a legislator. Then, he wanted his wife to be deputy mayor, everything was done for him, but he betrayed the party,” Gowda said. The JD(S) has fielded Girish K Nashi against Gopalaiah.

The KR Pet segment, Gowda said, has been his home in his political career. “False propaganda was made that Narayan Gowda (BJP candidate) was hit with slippers. I think he could not tolerate the large number of JD(S) supporters there,” he said. Gowda said the party would go all out to win the Shivajinagar seat.