Sunday, May 19, 2024

Kumaraswamy leaves for Delhi for talks about alliance with BJP leadership

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JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday left for New Delhi to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national President JP Nadda to discuss the alliance between the two parties in Karnataka for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The former Chief Minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda also may hold talks on this, if required. Gowda, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, is in Delhi.

“This evening there is a meeting, once we have the outcome of the meeting, tomorrow I will share everything openly with your Delhi correspondents,” Kumaraswamy said before leaving for the national capital.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, there has been no discussion on seat sharing between both parties till now. “Neither have we thought about it (seats) so far, nor have they (BJP) proposed anything in this regard. When we discuss in the evening, we will discuss in detail about the current situation in all 28 (Lok Sabha) seats, what was the situation in the earlier election and what is the situation after the 2023 Assembly polls,” he added.

Asked whether the alliance will be finalised today, Kumaraswamy said, “Let’s see.”

To a question as to whom he will be meeting in Delhi, he said, “Discussion is with their (BJP) decision-makers like Amit Shah (Home Minister) and their President J P Nadda. If required Narendra Modi and Deve Gowda will talk.”

Talks on an alliance between the two parties have been in the limelight ever since veteran BJP leader B S Yediyurappa, who is also a parliamentary board member of the party, had earlier this month said his party will have an understanding with JD(S) for the Lok Sabha elections, and the regional outfit will contest in four LS seats in Karnataka, which has a total of 28 constituencies.

However, Yediyurappa subsequently said discussions in this regard have not reached finality yet, and Modi and Shah, who are busy with other responsibilities, may discuss and decide on the issue in a few days.

The BJP had swept the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, winning 25 seats, while an independent (Sumalatha Ambareesh from Mandya) backed by it won one seat. The Congress and JD(S) won one seat each. In the elections to the 224-member Assembly held in May this year, the Congress bagged 135 seats, while the BJP secured 66 and the JD(S) 19.

Following the Assembly poll results, there were reports that JD(S) would enter into an alliance with the BJP to fight the Lok Sabha polls. It was also said that the JD(S) leaders had met BJP central leadership in Delhi in this regard. However, Deve Gowda had subsequently indicated the party would contest the Lok Sabha polls alone.

JD(S) had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the Congress, as both parties were then running a coalition government under the Chief Ministership of Kumaraswamy.

Following the Assembly poll debacle, BJP, wary of its performance in the Lok Sabha elections, seems to be open for an alliance with JD(S), aimed at regaining a maximum number of seats, sources from both parties said, adding, that it hopes JD(S) votes may get transferred to it, especially in the old Mysuru region where the regional party has a significant presence.

For JD(S), it is a matter of survival, and the party hopes to better its prospects by forging an alliance with the BJP in the backdrop of the Congress’ reported attempts to weaken it by wooing its leaders, they said.

JD(S) had earlier formed governments in coalition with both BJP and Congress for 20 months from January 2006, and for 14 months from May 2018, with Kumaraswamy as the chief minister.

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