New Delhi: Ahead of the crucial 2024 general assembly elections, the Janata Dal (Secular), led by former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Friday after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda, who announced the alliance on X (formerly Twitter).
"Today, formally, we discussed about joining hands with the BJP. We've discussed the preliminary issues formally...There is no demand (from our side)," Kumaraswamy told reporters.
Nadda made the announcement saying that the alliance with JDS will strengthen NDA. He also said that NDA "wholeheartedly welcomes" JDS.
"Met Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and JD(S) leader Shri H.D. Kumaraswamy in the presence of our senior leader and Home Minister Shri @AmitShah Ji. I am happy that JD(S) has decided to be the part of National Democratic Alliance. We wholeheartedly welcome them in the NDA. This will further strengthen NDA and vision of Hon PM @narendramodi Ji for 'New India, Strong India'."
According to reports, it is speculated that the BJP will give four seats to JDS. Earlier, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa said that JDS would fight the upcoming 2024 polls on four seats. At the time, Kumaraswamy called Yediyurappa's comment a "personal reaction".
Headed by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, the JD(S) has long been a strong third player in the southern state where the Congress and the BJP have been the two main parties. The regional party, however, suffered a sharp decline in the recent assembly polls in the state in the Congress scored a big win, reducing the BJP to a distant third.
The BJP, which heads the NDA, believes an alliance with the JD(S) will ensure its domination in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls as the regional party enjoys considerable influence in south Karnataka where the saffron party has traditionally been weak
(With agency inputs)