BJP-JDS alliance could upset Congress calculations

The nature of the BJP-JDS political tie-up is believed to be mutually beneficial, unlike the JDS-Congress alliance in 2019, which proved to be mutually disastrous.

Published: 15th September 2023 07:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2023 07:16 AM   |  A+A-

Neta allaince

Image used for representational purpose only. (Express IIlustration)

Express News Service

MYSURU: Speculation of the Bharatiya Janata Party striking an alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular), ahead of Lok Sabha elections, appears to be turning into a reality that poses a fresh challenge to the Congress, and upset its careful calculations.

However, the grand old party dismissed the alliance as “inconsequential” and claimed that it will bag more than 20 parliamentary seats -- a gift for AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge who is from Karnataka, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who is happy with the implementation of four of the five guarantees.

The Congress high command hopes its party unit will be able to carry the anti-incumbency sentiment against the BJP till the Lok Sabha elections and bag a big win with the support of Lingayats and Vokkaligas, just as it did for the assembly elections.

The BJP-JDS alliance spells trouble for the Congress, particularly Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, as the JDS, with a strong cadre base, is still a worry in Old Mysuru region. A poor show in this belt, and even the state, will throw the Congress leadership into gloom. Incidentally, JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy wants to grab the opportunity to make a strong comeback, as the Congress won 38 of 52 seats in the Vokkaliga heartland.

The nature of the BJP-JDS political tie-up is believed to be mutually beneficial, unlike the JDS-Congress alliance in 2019, which proved to be mutually disastrous. The parties are traditional rivals, and the alliance forged at the top level did not go down well with the cadre. Transfer of votes did not happen as both parties are major forces in Old Mysuru. 

The BJP feels it cannot allow the Congress to replicate the assembly election success in 2024. The desperation of the JDS fighting for survival, and the BJP’s apprehension that the I.N.D.I.A bloc is gaining strength and has brought them together to humble the Congress. The alliance could gain from two dominant communities — Veerashiava Lingayats and Vokkaligas. Party insiders feel that the coming together of the two parties with two dominant communities will lead to regrouping and polarisation, and other than traditional voters, the Narendra Modi brand could upset the Congress applecart.

BJP hopes to consolidate Hindu votes over the attack on Sanatana Dharma, and wants to target the Congress in its stronghold of Kanakapura, while retaining Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Mysuru, Mandya and Tumakuru districts.

While there has been a lot of speculation about the JDS-BJP alliance, former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said, “More than what state leaders are thinking, it is important to know what central leaders are thinking about the JDS-BJP alliance.’’ Asked for his opinion, he said, “A person’s opinion doesn’t matter, only what the party decides will matter.’’ It may be recalled that before Yediyurappa left for New Delhi on Tuesday, he had told the media that the issue would be decided by central leaders. On the Cauvery water issue, Yediyurappa said, “It is unpardonable that the state government permitted water to 
flow into Tamil Nadu when drinking water needs to be a priority.’’  

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