In the lead-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) are engaged in discussions regarding seat sharing in Karnataka. This development follows JD(S)’s recent decision to join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the BJP.
Sources from within the political circles suggest that JD(S) is aiming for a minimum of 6 out of Karnataka’s 28 Lok Sabha seats as part of the seat-sharing arrangement with the NDA. However, no official statement has been issued by JD(S) on this matter.
JD(S) and BJP Discuss Seat Sharing for 2024 Lok Sabha Elections
In the previous 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP secured 25 seats in Karnataka, while the Indian National Congress and JD(S) each won one seat. Additionally, Sumalatha Ambareesh, an independent candidate, emerged victorious in the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, and she has already announced her alliance with the NDA for the upcoming elections.
Following a significant setback in the Karnataka Assembly elections, the JD(S), led by the Deve Gowda family, formally decided to align with the BJP-led NDA. In the recent assembly polls, JD(S) secured 13% of the vote share and won 19 seats.
A Potential Game-Changer in Karnataka Politics
Prominent BJP leaders, including former Chief Ministers BS Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai, have lauded this alliance as a potential “political game-changer” in Karnataka’s political landscape. They believe that the inclusion of parties like JD(S) will bolster the NDA’s position in the state and provide formidable competition to the Indian National Congress.
It’s worth noting that JD(S) and BJP have previously formed alliances, notably in 2006 when they jointly established a coalition government in Karnataka. HD Kumaraswamy served as the Chief Minister during the initial 20 months of their partnership, but the alliance dissolved at the end of his term due to disagreements over power-sharing.
The decision of the JD(S) to join the NDA ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections carries significant political importance in Karnataka. The party, led by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, stands as the third-largest political force in the state. Currently, the Indian National Congress holds power in Karnataka, with the BJP in the opposition.