Janata Dal (Secular) leader and Karnataka minister GT Deve Gowda on Wednesday said his party workers may have voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party in some seats in the Lok Sabha elections because of “differences” in the Congress-JD(S) ruling alliance in the state.

The two parties together contested the elections in Karnataka, with the Congress standing in 20 seats and the Janata Dal (Secular) in eight seats. “There were some differences between the two parties. Those who were in Congress voted for Congress and those in JD(S) voted for the BJP,” Gowda told reporters in Mysuru, according to PTI. “Similar things happened elsewhere too.”

“In terms of the coalition, both sides are at fault. We should have fielded our candidates separately and fought the elections,” he added, according to the Hindustan Times. “Our leaders should have completed everything [seat-sharing agreement] two months before the polls.” The two parties had announced their seat-sharing deal on March 13, but there were several differences between leaders.

“In some places, [the coalition] worked well, but in some other places, for example at Udbur here, it was like panchayat polls where Congress workers worked for their party and our workers supported BJP,” Gowda added.

Karnataka Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao criticised Gowda’s statement. “I am not able to figure out how he [Mr Gowda] had worked during the election because he has given contradictory statements,” Rao said. “Such statements are not good for the coalition government. Such things would happen because those given responsibility did not work sincerely. There seems to be lack of sincerity.”

He claimed there was no delay in forming the coalition. “We formed the coalition much earlier. It was announced much earlier that Mysuru will be given to Congress as per the seat sharing agreement,” Rao added. “I don’t know in which context Gowda spoke.”

Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, meanwhile, claimed that not only JD(S) workers but some Congress leaders also voted for the saffron party, PTI reported.

“GT Deve Gowda’s statement is the voice of the people. It is the opinion of the workers of both the political parties,” Bharatiya Janata Party MLA and former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok said. “Not just JD(S) but Congress leaders and workers voted for BJP, especially in favour of Sumalatha Ambareesh in Mandya.”

He added that the BJP was not trying to bring down the state government, but “unseen hands” in the coalition were doing it, purportedly referring to the Congress.