The ruling Congress and Janata Dal Secular coalition in Karnataka on Tuesday announced its decision to put up a united fight against the BJP in the November 3 bypolls to three Lok Sabha and two assembly seats.
After meeting JDS leaders on Tuesday, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said both the parties will run a joint campaign and fight the polls to defeat the BJP.
"We will fight the election together and make sure that all the five seats will go in favour of the Congress-JDS alliance," Mr Venugopal, who is in charge of party affairs in Karnataka, told reporters. "Secular parties should come together for defeating the BJP is the message," he said.
Former prime minister and JDS chief HD Deve Gowda, his party secretary general Danish Ali, Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and former chief minister and Congress-JDS coordination committee head Siddaramaiah were present at the meeting.
The Congress will fight in Bellary and Shimoga Lok Sabha constituencies and the JDS in Mandya, its traditional stronghold in the Vokkaliga belt in old Mysuru region.
For the assembly bypolls, the Congress will contest from Jamakhandi and the JDS from Ramanagara, which Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had won but gave up after retaining Channapatna, the other segment bagged by him in the assembly elections.
The Election Commission on Saturday announced the bypolls to Shimoga, Bellary and Mandya Lok Sabha constituencies, and to Ramanagara and Jamkhandi assembly segments. Counting of votes will be on November 6.
Bypolls were necessitated after BJP's BS Yeddyurappa (Shimoga) and B Sriramalu (Bellary), and CS Puttaraju of JDS (Mandya) resigned as parliamentarians on their election to the assembly in May this year.
Bypolls to Jamkhandi assembly seat was caused by the death of Congress legislator Siddu Nyamagouda, while Ramanagara fell vacant after Mr Kumaraswamy gave up the seat preferring Chennapatna.