BJP And JDS In Karnataka Join Forces Ahead Of Important Elections In 2024. NDTV Explanations
The Congress had reacted sharply to talk of a BJP-JDS alliance, criticising the smaller party for sacrificing its secular credentials in search of power.
Bengaluru: In the Karnataka election four months ago, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (Secular) suffered humiliating losses. The JDS was left, many believed, on the verge of irrelevance after winning only 19, and the BJP won just 66 seats, leaving it in opposition and being removed from office. With 135 seats, the Congress declared a resounding and unexpected victory.
Now that the BJP and the JDS have declared a pre-election alliance but have not yet disclosed seat-sharing specifics, the 2024 Lok Sabha election in Karnataka will be vital for both parties.
The BJP-JDS Agreement
Last week, senior BJP figure BS Yediyurappa ‘broke’ the story by announcing that the JDS will receive four seats (out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state) as part of the agreement. Both BJP sources and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy later refuted this, stating that “these have not yet been discussed.”
The son of JDS patriarch HD Deve Gowda and two-time former chief minister Mr. Kumaraswamy also downplayed claims that his party had wanted the Mandya and Tumkur seats. He argued that no such requirements had been made.
Why Does The BJP Want To Work With The JDS?
According to statistics, the BJP wouldn’t be wise to strike a pact with the JDS given its performance in the 2023 Assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In the former, it received less than 14% of the votes, an increase from the nine to eleven percent four years prior. Additionally, the BJP defeated the JDS in each election. It received 36% of the vote in 2023 and swept the state in 2019.
Therefore, what justifies this agreement for the BJP?
Considering that the JDS still controls eight Lok Sabha seats in the Old Mysuru area. These include the seats it allegedly desired as part of the deal: Mandya, Hassan, Bengaluru (Rural), and Chikballapur. Tumkur, the seat Mr. Deve Gowda lost in 2019, is also included.
Results of the 2023 Karnataka Assembly Elections
Additionally, the BJP will be more powerful due to the JDS’s dominance over Vokkalinga supporters. And it might be the clincher, as the Congress is seen to have made significant gains among those who generally support the BJP.
The BJP would also want to keep in mind that the Congress didn’t seem to benefit from a partnership on this front in 2019; after all, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party still won 25 seats.
In the end, the BJP will hope that a partnership with JDS revives memories of its alliance from 2006.
JDS Remains Unwavering
Deve Gowda told reporters that “we contacted Modiji, when BJP leaders expressed their desire to talk,” notwithstanding the trends. Not to restore Deve Gowda as prime minister, he insisted, but rather to salvage the party he had spent 40 years fostering.
He added his reasoning for thinking the BJP requires him. He acknowledged that the latter had supporters in the districts where his party is thought to have sway, but added that “BJP shouldn’t think JDS has nothing.”
Other seats had warnings as well. “BJP can only succeed in Bijapur and Raichur if you have the support of my party; else, you will fail. We have voting in Bidar and Chikkamagaluru as well.
A June report from NDTV on the BJP-JDS alliance
NDTV was informed by insiders in June that a BJP-JDS partnership would be possible.
In South India, the BJP is currently without a government. In 2021, the party was expelled from Tamil Nadu and destroyed in Kerala. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have both shown to be resilient.
Telangana, one of these states, will elect a new government later this year, and the BJP is eager to establish local presences in each state as it reorganizes ahead of next year’s large-scale election. In light of this, the AIADMK partnership has been renewed, and discussions with smaller Kerala parties are also ongoing. In Puducherry, the BJP already participates in a coalition administration.
When asked if this was part of a strategy to silence the Congress, he responded to reporters by saying, “No one can silence us. We have been attempting to stand on our own two feet and participate in the Karnataka election since the outset.