BANGALORE: The future looks very bleak for the JD(S), with the party winning just two seats from the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. It had high hopes of playing a vital role in the event of a fractured verdict.
During the elections, former prime minister and JD(S) national president H D Deve Gowda had tried to revive the third front by holding talks with all anti-BJP and anti-Congress parties, but his efforts had fallen through. Although the JD(S) got into poll mode much ahead of other parties, it stumbled while picking ‘winnable’ candidates.
Of the total of 28 seats in the state, the party fielded candidates in 24 constituencies but worked hard only in six to eight.
From the beginning, JD(S) seemed to be on shaky ground due to the ground swell of support for the BJP, especially after Narendra Modi was declared the party’s prime ministerial candidate. This time, while Deve Gowda managed to retain the Hassan seat, former MLA C S Puttaraj romped home in Mandya by trouncing sitting MP Ramya.
Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, who contested from Chikballapur not only lost the elections but came third, indicating that the strong base of JD(S) had been eroded not only in Old Mysore region but also in north Karnataka. Due to the exodus of many strong leaders to the BJP and Congress, there is no second line of leadership and the party is dependent on Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy.
“Everything is not over for our party. The results of 2014 Lok Sabha elections is a temporary setback but we will bounce back in the coming days”, Kumaraswamy told Express.
Defending his decision to contest, Kumaraswamy said, “My party base would have been further eroded had I not contested from Chikballapur constituency. Even if I had won the elections, I could not have done anything with just two to three members in the Lok Sabha. In a way, this defeat has come as a blessing in disguise for me to take up people’s issues in the state Assembly.”
Can’t Write Us off, Says Deve Gowda
H D Deve Gowda said on Friday that he was disappointed with his party’s performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, he said he would respect the people’s verdict.
He told reporters that he accepted defeat and would not give any excuse for the party’s performance.
“No one can write off JD(S) in Karnataka”, he said.
Gowda, the Vokkaliga leader, has retained his seat by consecutively winning five times (1991, 1999, 2004, 2009 and