The Janata Dal (Secular) is expected to play an important role in the aftermath of the Assembly elections in Karnataka.
The party may not be able to form a government on its own as is being made out by some of its own leaders, given its limited presence, but it is expected to be in the forefront of the State’s politics.
There are no permanent friends or foes in politics, they say and the JD (S) too may look up to this description of politics and as such is believed to be working towards forging an agreement to win over friends in the exercise of government formation.
The JD (S) leadership, under the direct charge of the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and his son H.D. Kumaraswamy, a former Chief Minister, is stated to be reviewing the political situation closely and the latter is believed to be in touch with some top leaders of other political parties to work out an understanding. The JD (S) aligned with the Bharatiya Janata Party in early 2006 and after it dishonoured the agreement, the BJP came to power in 2008 riding on a sympathy wave.
A close look at the manner in which the JD (S) is fielding candidates is an indicator of the likely developments after the elections. It is evident that the JD (S) will have a working understanding with either of the two national parties — the Congress or BJP — to form the next government. This exercise will, however, take shape only if the Congress is unsuccessful in forming a government on its own, or in other words is unable to obtain even a simple majority.
The Janata Dal (S) has so far fielded candidates in 122 of the 224 constituencies and is expected to announce more names before the filing of nominations ends on April 17.
It has been successful in bringing to its side at least five disgruntled BJP legislators — H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda, Belur Gopalakrishna, Sarvabhouma Bagali, Manappa Vajjal and Shashil Namoshi .
Two other former Ministers — Baburao Chavan and B.B. Ningaiah — have also joined the JD (S) and have been given the ticket.
Interestingly, the party has also fielded two of its three members of Parliament — H.D. Kumaraswamy and N. Cheluvarayaswamy. The third MP is Mr. Deve Gowda who has categorically stated that he is no longer interested in electoral politics.