While withdrawal of nominations by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates for the bypolls to Bangalore Rural and Mandya Lok Sabha constituencies on Wednesday clearly points to an understanding with the Janata Dal (Secular) to fight unitedly against the Congress, the latter is still trying to underplay its implications.

While senior JD(S) leaders chose not to comment on the BJP’s decision to withdraw its nomination, one senior leader on condition of anonymity admitted that they were not in a position to react on the development as they are caught between “national and State presidents” of the party.

It may be recalled here that while national president of the party H.D. Deve Gowda had categorically said there was no question of an alliance, his son and State president H.D. Kumaraswamy had been speaking of the main aim of defeating the Congress, and never completely negating the possibility of a tie-up.

As far as their official positions are concerned, both the BJP and JD(S) are trying to save face by providing convenient alibis for their quid pro quo arrangement. The JD(S) went to the extent of feigning ignorance of the BJP’s decision to withdraw candidates.

Questions raised

Questions are being asked on the reluctance of the JD(S) in fielding a candidate in the election to Dharwad, Chitradurga and Mysore Local Bodies constituencies to be held on August 22, which is believed to be as per the quid pro quo understanding with the BJP. Mr. Gowda had earlier said he was not for fielding candidates in view of the party’s lack of strength in the three constituencies. But, not fielding a candidate in the Mysore constituency, where the JD(S) has substantial strength, has raised eyebrows.

More In: Karnataka | National