Lok Sabha polls: JD(S) looking to expand its national footprint

JD(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda speaking at the party’s national executive committee meeting in Bengaluru on Tuesday.  

The Janata Dal (Secular), which is part of governments in Karnataka and Kerala, is looking to expand its footprint to other parts of the country in the Lok Sabha elections by fielding its candidates in other States.

Party general secretary Danish Ali on Tuesday told reporters that the party was exploring possibilities in Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. “We are also cautious not to divide secular votes,” he said, without providing details on seat sharing with other parties and details of constituencies.

Currently, the JD(S) is heading the coalition government in Karnataka with the Congress while it is part of the Left Democratic Front government in Kerala. “We are taking opinions from colleagues as to how the party has to move forward in other States that would be in the best interest of the party,” said Mr. Ali, who is here to attend the party’s national executive that started on Tuesday. He, however, said the party was not going to insist on seats anywhere. “Our motive is to see that anti-people, anti- weaker sections and anti-democracy goes. We will stitch an alliance against the BJP,” he added.

The draft resolution of the national executive, made available to the media, urges people, and secular and democratic parties to come together to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). “The party at its national executive is cautiously deliberating what political line it should take in the elections,” Mr. Ali added.

According to him, the party believes that the BJP’s tally in the Lok Sabha elections could be brought down with State-specific alliances. “We are also aware that not all the 20 political parties can be accommodated in every State. Regional leaders should lead the alliance locally along with other political parties present in the State.” Though the JD(S) is a smaller party, it had a major responsibility in bringing together all secular forces, he said, and added that party’s national president H.D. Deve Gowda had in the past brought together secular forces in the country.

In Kerala, he said the party would contest in alliance with the Left while the party had opened preliminary talks on seat sharing with the Congress in Karnataka. “We have not arrived at any decision on the number of seats or constituencies that both parties will contest in Karnataka,” Mr. Ali said.

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Printable version | Sep 15, 2021 7:47:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/lok-sabha-polls-jds-looking-to-expand-its-national-footprint/article26123829.ece

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