BENGALURU: They faced one bypoll together successfully, and now the Congress and JD(S) are putting up a united front again for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. While the alliance was built on the compulsion of keeping the BJP away from forming the government in Karnataka, the JD(S)-Congress alliance also hopes to set an example of how non-BJP alliances with regional parties can be a success.
The alliance partners are hoping to cash in on their combined resources, including cadre, campaign, money, leaders and mediums, to push themselves as the ‘secular’ alternative to the BJP. While the perception of unity may be their strength, internal skirmishes are wreaking havoc for the alliance partners.
“Secular votes, that were being divided, will now be consolidated. Joining hands has given us that common platform. We have also come up with pro-farmer, pro-people schemes,” said Tanveer Ahmed, spokesperson, JD(S). He, however, acknowledged that the delay in involving grass roots level workers in select seats, from both parties, is their biggest failure. “We should have worked towards eradicating differences in the past one year. Both parties perhaps faulted there,” he said.
The partners are banking on consolidation of votes to work in their favour. For example, in Kolar, the Congress managed a vote share of 37.16 per cent and JD(S) 32.92 per cent, in comparison to the BJP’s 23.71 per cent in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The combined vote share, if consolidated even partially, will decimate the BJP in this election. “The strengths are mainly in areas where the BJP is very strong, but not in places where JD(S) doesn’t have an impact,” said Prof Narendar Pani, political analyst.