Special Correspondent

Five rounds of talks on alliance with BJP make no headway

Bangalore: After five rounds of unfruitful talks on striking an electoral alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, the State unit of the Janata Dal (United) has decided to contest the Assembly elections independently. It will field 50 candidates.

Announcing the party’s decision, general secretary Shambu Srivastawa told journalist here on Monday that his party had wanted the alliance with the BJP to continue in the larger interests of the National Democratic Alliance.

“In contrast to its behaviour in the Bihar context, the BJP has behaved like a big brother. And certainly not a good big brother,” he said.

The JD(U) had repeatedly emphasised that the main purpose of its electoral alliance with the BJP was to prevent the non-Congress votes from being split.

State JD(U) president B. Somashekar; general secretary G.K.C. Reddy; M.P. Nadagouda, MLC; the former MLA C.K. Madhuswamy; and the former Minister Veeranna held talks with State BJP leaders D.V. Sadananda Gowda, B.S. Yeddyurappa, H.N. Ananth Kumar, D.H. Shankaramurthy, Jagadish Shettar and K.S. Eshwarappa, Dr. Srivastawa said. Later, when the talks shifted to Delhi, party president Sharad Yadav held talks with BJP president Rajnath Singh.

In response to the party’s demand for a minimum of 25 seats, the BJP first offered four seats, then six, and finally 10. Even as it was expecting a response from a top BJP leader, the JD(U) was shocked to learn about “unethical developments” in the State BJP, such as welcoming defectors and those who failed to get ticket from other parties. “The JD(U) cannot afford to have any kind of electoral relationship with the BJP in the coming elections to the Karnataka Assembly as it is committed to value-based politics though its presence in national politics is confined to some areas,” Dr. Srivastawa said.

Asked whether the party would join hands with the BJP after the polls if the latter sought its help, he said that it was a matter to be considered then.