JD(S) Will Support BJP in Karnataka if Needed, Says Senior Leader

The BJP needs to win at least seven of the 15 seats to remain in power.

3 min read
File image of CM HD Kumaraswamy (right) with his father, HD Deve Gowda (left). 

A senior Janata Dal Secular (JD(S)) leader’s statement that his party will support the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) if the bypolls didn’t give the saffron party a majority has indicated a new political equation in poll-bound Karnataka.

Senior JD(S) leader and former legislative council chairman Basavaraj Horatti on Tuesday, 19 November, said there are “all chances” of the JD(S) supporting BS Yediyurappa government to stay in power.

Horatti’s statements came after a meeting with Chief Minister Yediyurappa along with a group of disgruntled JD(S) MLCs. Horatti is the only Lingayat leader from the JD(S), which is the CM’s community as well.

Twenty four hours after the statement, senior leadership of the JD(S), especially the Gowda family, has not rebutted the statement. Horatti further added that that “both Kumaraswamy and Deve Gowda have said they will not let the BJP government collapse.”

The BJP needs to win at least seven of the 15 seats to remain in power.


The Changing Equations

Soon after the by-elections were announced both the Congress and the JD(S) had announced that they will not go for another alliance. In such a situation, the BJP not getting enough seats to retain power could lead to a political crisis and a mid-term poll.

However, in the days that followed, both former chief minister Kumaraswamy and party supremo HD Deve Gowda had said they will not allow the BJP government to fall and prevent a mid-term poll.

Kumaraswamy had said he would not allow the government to fall, while he father said Yediyurappa and Siddaramaiah will continue for another three and half years as CM and Opposition leaders respectively.

Horatti’s statement and a lack of rebuttal from the Gowda family now presents a BJP-JD(S) coalition as a strong possibility in the state.

At the same time, the JD(S)’ decision to support BJP rebel candidate Sharath Bache Gowda has irked the saffron party. Son of BJP leader Bache Gowda, Sharath is said to have a strong chance of winning the Hospete constituency in the outskirts of Bengaluru. The BJP has fielded disqualified MLA MBT Nagaraj from this seat.

Congress Should Ally With BJP in Maharashtra: HDK

As the talks to form a Congress-NCP coalition with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra are underway, Kumaraswamy on Wednesday said it would be much easier for the Congress to enter into an alliance with BJP rather than going with Shiv Sena.

"I don't know, instead of going 1/3 politics in Maharashtra, Congress can rethink on going to 1/2 politics. BJP's agenda is of 'soft Hindutva' and Shiv Sena's agenda is of 'hard Hindutva'. Congress is shaking hands with hard-Hindutva, they should go directly with BJP which is soft Hindutva as it would be much easier for it," said HD Kumaraswamy.

In the state, the statement has been perceived as JD(S) leaning towards the BJP.


From Kingmaker to Supporting Cast

Sources in the BJP told The Quint that the party is confident of winning the by-election on its own and won’t require the support of the JD(S).

A senior leader added that Kumaraswamy, who is scared of being exposed for his role in the I Monetary Advisory Group (IMA) scam and in illegal phone tapping cases, is cosying up to the BJP.

The leader refused to comment on whether the BJP would join hands with the JD(S).

While Kumaraswamy got to be the chief minister even as a minority partner in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government, in a BJP-JD(S) alliance, he wouldn’t get the top post. According to a Congress leader, from the ‘kingmaker’, the JD(S) would be reduced to a ‘supporting cast’ if they join the alliance.

“Kumaraswamy betrayed Yediyurappa once by denying him chief minister post when JD(S) and BJP had formed a government (2006-2007). Yediyrauppa will never forget that,” added the leader.

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