Days after he helped finalise seat-sharing between the Janata Dal (S) and the Congress in Karnataka for the coming Lok Sabha election, Kunwar Danish Ali, general secretary of the JD(S), joined the Bahujan Samaj Party in Lucknow, and is expected to contest from the Amroha constituency.
Significantly, hours after he joined the BSP, Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy tweeted that Mr. Ali had joined that party with his consent. “Danish Ali, the JD(S) general secretary, has joined the BSP in consent with me and our national president H.D. Deve Gowda in a purely political arrangement between the two parties. It is a thoughtful political decision taken by the JD(S) and the BSP to win more seats in the Lok Sabha election,” he said.
Hails from U.P.
Mr. Ali, who had contested Assembly polls from Uttar Pradesh, hails from the State and had been instrumental in forging the JD(S)-BSP alliance for the Karnataka Assembly polls in 2018, where the BSP won a seat, for the first time.
“JD(S) doesn’t have a large organisational structure in U.P. Despite all my efforts I could not have raised it in my ‘janmabhoomi’ , my ‘karmabhoomi’. The way in which there is a threat to the Constitution today, it has become essential to use our energy with a strong leadership,” Mr. Ali said after joining the BSP in the presence of party general secretary Satish Mishra. He later met BSP chief Mayawati.
Mr. Ali reportedly made the switch after more than 25 years of association with the JD(S) when he found that it had been unable to swing a seat for him in U.P., and repeatedly did not nominate him for a Rajya Sabha seat from Karnataka either.
He had long been the frontman for the party in Delhi and national level negotiations on behalf of the party. He had been instrumental in the formation of the coalition government in Karnataka following the split mandate in the State in 2018. Even this time around, when talk of keeping one seat aside for the JD(S) , specifically for Mr. Ali, was broached, the BSP made it clear that he would have to fight under the BSP banner.