“After Ganesha Festival…”: HD Kumaraswamy Teases Karnataka BJP-JDS Deal



HD Kumaraswamy is a two-time former Chief Minister and son of JDS boss HD Deve Gowda.


Senior Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy has called for patience amid talk the Karnataka outfit has stitched together a pre-Lok Sabha election alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr Kumaraswamy told NDTV “more (details) will be revealed after Ganesh Chaturthi” next week.

The two-time former Chief Minister also brushed aside speculation the JDS will, as part of the deal, get to contest four seats in the Old Mysuru region of the state – where the BJP may want reinforcements after possibly losing ground (and votes) to the Congress in the May Assembly poll.

“Already, regarding this issue, we have discussed in our meeting, in our party workers’ meeting. And, regarding the coalition (with the BJP), (JDS patriarch) Deve Gowdaji and myself have expressed our issues. More will be said after the Ganesha festival,” Mr Kumaraswamy told NDTV on Tuesday.

Pressed on comments by BJP leader BS Yediyurappa, who ‘broke’ news of the alliance last week and said the JDS would contest from Mandya and three other seats, Mr Kumaraswamy would only say, “I am watching what is happening. Wait for a week… all your questions will be answered.”

A potential BJP-JDS alliance is a tricky subject for both sides, particularly in the context of the events of 2006, were underlined hours after Mr Yediyurappa’s remarks. Sources in the BJP told NDTV “this (the ‘alliance’ announced by BS Yediyurappa) is not final… (and it) will be discussed further”.

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Apart from questions over the immediate benefit of the BJP allying with a party trounced in two successive major elections – 2019 Lok Sabha and 2023 Assembly – the 2006 poll will loom large in the party’s thoughts. Back then the JDS and the BJP formed a coalition that fell after just 20 months because the former ignored a power-sharing deal and did not transfer power to the latter.

Fast-forward to today and a BJP-JDS ‘2.0’ alliance has been criticised by the Congress, which has accused Mr Kumaraswamy’s party of sacrificing its “secular” credentials in search for power.

READ | Will They, Won’t They? On Talk Of BJP-JDS Deal In Karnataka, HD Kumaraswamy Says…

Speaking to NDTV, Mr Kumaraswamy deflected these criticisms, insisting “(political) benefit is not important”. “The problem which we are facing… the farming community … and the way in which this (Congress) government is running… for that we require a good opposition… need to work together.”

Meanwhile, HD Deve Gowda confirmed to reporters on Monday that he had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, and that he did so because “this party needs to be saved”.

Mr Deve Gowda said he had “worked 40 years for this party” and, in a reference to the 2006 coalition breakdown, said, “I saved this party even when HD Kumaraswamy went with the BJP.”

In June, sources told NDTV of the possibility of a BJP-JDS alliance.

The BJP is now without a government ain South India. The party was booted out of Tamil Nadu in 2021 and routed in Kerala. Both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have also proven resistant. 

READ | A Former Ally Leans Towards BJP, Snubs Opposition Unity Moves For 2024

Of these states, Telangana votes later this year and the BJP is eager to have local footprints as it bids for momentum ahead of next year’s election. The AIADMK alliance in Tamil Nadu has been renewed and talks are also on with smaller Kerala parties. The BJP is in a coalition government in Puducherry.

With input from agencies

Read More | Source: NDTV News

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