New Delhi: The Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) in Karantaka are all set to keep their differences aside to help the coalition government present a united face ahead of the 3 November by-elections to three Lok Sabha and two assembly constituencies.

The alliance partners are likely to hold a rare joint press conference on Saturday in Bengaluru, to boost its image, which had taken a hit over alleged differences.

Senior leaders of both parties, including JD(S) national president and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, former Karnataka chief minister and veteran Congress leader Siddaramaiah, Congress state unit chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and his JD(S) counterpart Adagur H. Vishwanath are going to attend the press conference. Chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is also on the list of probable attendees, subject to his availability.

The move is significant because both parties are of the view that the growing speculation over differences between the two can be countered by a show of unity at a joint press conference, particularly with Siddaramaiah present.

The parties did not want to hold the media interaction at any one of their offices. It is likely to take place at Bengaluru’s Ashoka Hotel. Official invites for the media interaction are likely to be sent on Friday. “Officially, the agenda is to talk about the upcoming by-polls in the state, including three Lok Sabha and two assembly seats. The leaders will talk about how the campaign is being run and what the future plan is," a senior Congress leader based in Bengaluru said, on condition of anonymity.

In the past, Kumaraswamy and his deputy G. Parmeshwara have held media interactions together. Leaders of the two parties have also interacted with the media after coordination committee meetings. However, this was restricted to the functioning of the state government. Saturday could be the first time that the top leadership of both parties will hold a joint briefing over an electoral issue.

“The suggestion came from senior leaders of both parties. Senior leaders held a joint meeting on Wednesday evening after which this was decided. In a way, it is a show of unity of both parties’ top leaders together," the leader mentioned above added.

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