HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular Joins BJP-Led NDA Alliance

News of the JDS-BJP alliance was 'broken' earlier this month by senior BJP leader and ex-Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy flanked by BJP boss JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

New Delhi:

The Janata Dal (Secular) has joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance ahead of next year's general election. The announcement was made Friday afternoon after senior JDS leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP boss JP Nadda in Delhi. No details have been released so far about seat-sharing in the southern state.

On that topic Mr Kumaraswamy said, "... discussions will continue on seat-sharing."

A photograph posted by Mr Nadda on X shows the leaders engaged in discussions and another shows them standing shoulder-to-shoulder, with the BJP bosses wrapped in a ceremonial shawl.

"I am happy JDS has decided to be part of National Democratic Alliance. We wholeheartedly welcome them. This will strengthen NDA and vision of PM Narendra Modiji for 'New India, Strong India'," he said.

Last week JDS patriarch HD Deve Gowda told reporters he had initiated talks with senior BJP leaders in Delhi, and told reporters he had done so "not to become Prime Minister again... (but) to save this party... I saved this party even when HD Kumaraswamy went with the BJP..."

Mr Kumaraswamy later told NDTV "more (details) will be revealed after Ganesh Chaturthi".

READ | "After Ganesha Festival...": HD Kumaraswamy Teases Karnataka BJP-JDS Deal

He also brushed aside speculation the JDS will get four seats in the Old Mysuru region - in which the BJP was seen as losing ground (and votes) to the Congress in the May Assembly election.

The JDS and the BJP had allied to form the government in 2007 but that collapsed after 20 months, with the BJP claiming Mr Kumaraswamy did not honour a deal to share the Chief Minister's post.

The regional party had also joined hands with the Congress - for the 2019 Lok Sabha election - but both were soundly beaten by the BJP, which claimed 25 of the state's 28 seats.

News of the JDS-BJP alliance was 'broken' by senior BJP leader and ex-Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who said the smaller party would contest from Mandya and three other seats.

READ | As Opposition Teams Up For Big 2024 Fight, BJP Plans A Pact In South

Mr Yediyurappa said the deal would help the BJP win "25 or 26 seats".

JDS-BJP Alliance

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election the JDS performed poorly; it won just one seat and secured only nine-odd percent of the votes. Results were slightly better in the Assembly election held earlier this year, in which it claimed around 14 per cent of the votes and 19 seats; this was down from 37 in 2018.

The BJP, on the other hand, polled 36 per cent of the votes in the Assembly election and, crucially, swept the state in 2019, leaving many wondering about this alliance when buzz first surfaced.

READ | BJP, JDS Come Together In Karnataka Ahead Of Big 2024 Polls. NDTV Explains

However, as NDTV reported this month, it might still make sense because the JDS still has influence in eight Lok Sabha segments in the Old Mysuru region. These include Mandya, Hassan, Bengaluru (Rural) and Chikballapur, seats which it allegedly wanted as part of the deal with the BJP. Those eight also include Tumkur, the seat JDS patriarch HD Deve Gowda contested and lost from in 2019.

Also, the JDS' influence over Vokkalinga voters will strengthen the BJP's hand. And that may be the kicker, as the Congress is seen as having made inroads into the traditionally BJP-voting community.