BENGALURU: The JD(U) faction led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said that it will contest the Karnataka assembly elections on its own, in an apparent message to ally BJP that it cannot take the party’s support for granted. Kumar, who was in Bengaluru and met party leaders and workers, announced the decision and said there was an atmosphere of panic and unrest in the country “with everybody attacking each other.”
In a statement that could very well be a cryptic message to the Union government, considering the manner in which the BJP is losing allies, Kumar claimed that a sense of unrest was looming large. “There is no need to worry too much over this situation of unrest and violence. This won’t last long. There will come a time of peace and love,” Kumar, who heads the JD(U)-BJP coalition government in Bihar, said.
JD(U) has over the years gradually lost its foothold in the state. In the 2013 assembly polls, the party contested from 116 seats but failed to win even a single seat. The party polled 69,865 votes that accounted for a minuscule 0.22% of the vote share. In the 2008 polls, it contested 72 seats, won none and registered a vote share of 0.33%. The numbers make it clear that the party has no sway in Karnataka and could benefit more from contesting with the BJP. However, the party’s decision to go it alone and Kumar’s veiled references to the atmosphere in the country should be seen in the light of changing political situation, say analysts.
The rebel faction of JD(U) too is trying to make its presence felt in the state and its head Sharad Yadav was in Bengaluru last month. He had interacted with state leaders M P Nadagouda and others about the ways to expand the party’s base in the state.