BENGALURU: In a major embarrassment to its top leadership ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali quit the party and joined the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. Though it will not have any major impact on the party’s prospects in the LS polls, the move is seen as an embarrassment to the regional party, as Ali was its pointsman and very visible national face for several years.
Ali had played a critical role in stitching up the crucial JD(S)-Congress alliance in the state, and was rewarded by being appointed convener of the Coalition Coordination Committee, headed by former CM Siddaramaiah. The committee comprises CM HD Kumaraswamy and heavyweights DyCM G Parameshwara and AICC general secretary KC Venugopal as its other members. He was also handpicked to be part of the seat-sharing talks between JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and Congress president Rahul Gandhi recently.
Gowda was planning to field Ali from UP for Parliament, and had even ventured to speak about it at various meetings with his own party men, and leaders of other parties, but couldn’t pull it off. So Ali left JD(S) and joined Mayawati’s party, sources said. He was loyal to the JD(S) top leadership for the past several years, but now with BSP and SP forming an alliance to take on the BJP in UP, he considers it an opportune time to contest the LS polls, sources added.
The JD(S) claims that Ali joined the BSP with its consent. “Danish Ali joined BSP with the consent of national president HD Deve Gowda and me, in a purely political arrangement between the two parties,” Kumaraswamy said. He termed it “a thoughtful political decision taken by the JD(S) and BSP to win more seats in the Lok Sabha elections.”
Ironically, the JD(S) does not have such an understanding with the BSP even in Karnataka, where the party is contesting eight of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state, in alliance with the Congress. “We don’t have an alliance with any party in Karnataka,” said BSP state chief Prof Hariram. “We will field our candidates in all 28 seats. Our ideology and victory of our candidates is important to us,” he added.
Initially, when the JD(S)-Congress government was formed in the state in May 2018, lone BSP MLA in the state N Mahesh was inducted into the ministry and given the primary education portfolio. In October 2018, he resigned from the ministry.