Janata Dal (S) is charting an ambitious road map to boost its poll prospects with the help of the Bharata Rashtra Samithi (BRS), the party that was launched in Hyderabad by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Wednesday as an alternative national political force of like-minded parties.
With 20 MLAs
The JD (S), which is fighting a tough political battle in Karnataka as both the ruling BJP and the principal Opposition Congress are trying to woo its MLAs and make inroads into its territory, took over 20 of its legislators to Hyderabad under the leadership of former Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy to participate in the formal launch of the BRS.
According to sources, the JD (S) is keen to use this new political forum, which is an alternative to both the BJP and the Congress, to expand its political base in Karnataka. Party insiders say that the JD (S), which presently has 30 MLAs, will try to strategically focus on finding a firm footing in an additional 30 to 40 Assembly seats where the BRS will have some influence.
KCR to campaign?
While Mr. Kumaraswamy told reporters after the meeting in Hyderabad that Mr. Chandrashekhar has assured him of all co-operation to help the party to return to power in Karnataka, sources in the JDS said that the top leaders of the BRS including Mr. Rao would campaign for the party in Karnataka.
On his part, Mr. Kumaraswamy said the JD (S) would work as an ally of the BRS both at the state and the national level. He maintained that the ideology and political priorities of both the parties were similar.
Pointing out that southern states — Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu — barring Karnataka had non-BJP and non-Congress dispensations, he said the newly launched party would try to ensure that a non-BJP and non-Congress dispensation comes to power in Karnataka too. He also hoped that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin too would join the new political alliance.
Meanwhile, floating of an alternative political outfit in which the JD (S) is a key ally, is being watched closely in Karnataka’s political circles. This has come at a time when the BJP is set to embark upon a State tour and the Congress is midway through its Bharat Jodo Yatra. While the two political parties are involved in high-profile campaigns to strengthen their cadre, any resurgence by the JD(S) is likely to tilt political balance in the State, say political observers.