Bengaluru: The Karnataka BJP leadership on Friday hailed the entry of the JD(S) into the NDA fold, saying it would boost the saffron party’s prospects in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda-led party today announced that it would ally with the BJP, following a meeting of its leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National President J P Nadda.
”NDA under the leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi Ji continues to grow bigger, stronger and as the most trusted political coalition across the country. I warmly welcome the @JanataDal_S to the NDA family. Together we will build a stronger NDA and a New India,” veteran BJP leader and former chief minister B S Yediyurappa posted on social media platform ‘X’.
Another former CM Basavaraj Bommai posted on X saying, ”Meeting of Sri @hd_kumaraswamy with our Leader Shri @AmitShah and our national president @JPNadda ji is successful. Welcome to JDS leader to NDA fold. it is a political game changer in Karnataka.” BJP state President and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel too welcomed the addition of JD(S) to the NDA alliance.
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”With this alliance between BJP and JD(S), BJP will win maximum seats in the state,” Kateel said, adding that it is a sign that Narendra Modi is sure to become the prime minister again.
Talks about an alliance between the two parties have been in the news ever since Yediyurappa, who is also a BJP parliamentary board member, had earlier this month let slip that there would be an understanding with JD(S) for the Lok Sabha elections, and that the regional outfit will contest in four LS seats in Karnataka, which has a total of 28 constituencies.
However, he subsequently said that things had not been finalised as Modi and Shah were busy and that a decision may come in a few days.
In the 2019 LS elections, the BJP had won as many as 25 seats, while an independent (Sumalatha Ambareesh from Mandya) backed by it won one seat. The Congress and JD(S) managed to get just one seat each.
However, in the elections to the 224-member state assembly held in May this year, the Congress bagged 135 seats, while the BJP secured just 66 and the JD(S) 19.
JD(S) had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the Congress. At the time, both parties were running a coalition government under the chief ministership of Kumaraswamy.
Following the recent assembly poll debacle, BJP, wary of its prospects in 2024, seemed open to an alliance with JD(S). It would help regain the maximum number of seats, sources from both parties said, adding, that the BJP hopes JD(S) votes may get transferred to it, especially in the old Mysuru region (south Karnataka) from where the regional party draws its strength.
According to some political observers, for JD(S) it is a matter of survival; the party hopes to better its prospects by forging an alliance with BJP in the backdrop of the Congress’s reported attempts to weaken it by wooing its leaders, they said.
JD(S) has earlier formed governments in coalition with both the BJP and Congress separately — for 20 months from January 2006, and for 14 months from May 2018, respectively, with Kumaraswamy as chief minister.