JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said that local leaders have been authorised to take a decision on whom to support in the seats where the party is not contesting in the Legislative Council polls. The statement comes in the backdrop of rumours over the possibility of a JD(S)-BJP alliance in the polls to 25 LC seats on December 10.
Ruling out any alliance, Kumaraswamy said the decision was taken keeping in mind the prospects for the 2023 Assembly election. “I have held two to three rounds of discussions with JDS local leaders and taken their opinion regarding the seats where we have not fielded our candidates and the proposed alliance with BJP and I have given instructions to our local leaders to take a decision regarding supporting other party candidates in these seats,” Kumaraswamy said.
He also clarified that there is no alliance now or in the future with other parties. “There is no question for any alliance or any internal or external understanding. Our only goal is the 2023 polls and we will win the polls,” he added.
“During Assembly polls, the situation will differ in different seats. In some seats, we will have to fight Congress and the BJP in a few. Keeping this in mind, we have to take certain decisions now. Hence we have asked our local leaders to decide.”
A meeting between PM Narendra Modi and JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda in New Delhi on November 30 had intensified rumours of some kind of understanding between the two parties for the Legislative Council polls.
Soon after the Devegowda-Modi meet, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that Devegowda’s son H D Kumaraswamy and former BJP CM B S Yediyurappa would chalk out a plan for a JDS-BJP alliance for the Council elections. Yediyurappa had openly sought JD(S) support for BJP candidates in the seats where the regional party is not contesting since JD(S) has fielded only six candidates, while the BJP and Congress are contesting in 20 seats each.
The December 10 polls are being held on account of 15 Congress members, 6 BJP members and four JDS members retiring in January 2022 from the 75-member council, where the BJP currently has a strength of 32 seats, the Congress 29 and the JD(S) 12. This is apart from an Independent member and the council chairman, who is from the JDS.
Kumaraswamy said that there has been no official request from the BJP apart from Yediyurappa publicly and once personally over the phone seeking support for their candidates.
Kumaraswamy also said that his party, due to financial constraints, is contesting in only six seats, despite having strength and votes that are decisive for winning this election in several districts. “In the seats where the party is contesting, there is a triangular contest between Congress, BJP and JD(S). “Both the national parties are not supporting the JD(S) in the six seats.”