The Janata Dal (Secular) decision to join the NDA helmed by the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election was no doubt prompted by necessity as it has been pushed into a corner by the Congress expanding into its traditional base. The BJP, on the other hand, is hoping to ride piggyback on the JD-S to retain its impressive tally of 25 of the 28 parliamentary seats in Karnataka that it secured in 2019. The BJP after relegating the NDA into cold storage for the last four-and-a-half years, and in the process losing allies such as the Shiv Sena (Uddhav), Janata Dal-U and Akali Dal largely because of its intransigence on many issues, is suddenly finding merit in coalition governance. The unity efforts of the INDIA alliance of 28 parties have, no doubt, prompted this bid to revive the NDA. Karnataka is the only southern state where the BJP has a good track record but it received a blow when it was roundly defeated by the Congress in Assembly elections this year. Though the JDS has suffered a severe erosion in its Vokkaliga votebank, courtesy the inroads made by another Vokkaliga leader D K Shivakumar of the Congress, especially in the Old Mysuru region, the BJP is hoping that together the two parties will retain their traditional constituency. In a three-cornered contest the Congress came out trumps, but the BJP is hoping that by joining hands with the JD-S, the outcome will be different. Of course, the ultimate aim seems to be the marginalisation of the JD-S so that Karnataka like many other states will witness a bipolar contest where the BJP is hoping to have the upper hand. An NDA revival will also provide the veneer of a Central government committed to federalism, something it has been accused of junking by the Opposition.
FPJ Editorial: Karnataka Gameplan
The BJP, on the other hand, is hoping to ride piggyback on the JD-S to retain its impressive tally of 25 of the 28 parliamentary seats in Karnataka that it secured in 2019
FPJ EditorialUpdated: Monday, September 25, 2023, 09:01 PM IST