In a significant political development ahead of the crucial 2024 general assembly elections, the Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS), led by former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, officially joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Friday. This alliance was formally announced following a meeting between HD Kumaraswamy, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP President JP Nadda.
The decision to join the NDA was met with enthusiasm from both sides. Speaking to reporters, Kumaraswamy stated, “Today, formally, we discussed about joining hands with the BJP. We’ve discussed the preliminary issues formally…There is no demand (from our side).”
BJP President JP Nadda announced the alliance on X (formerly Twitter), emphasizing that the collaboration with the JDS would further strengthen the NDA. He expressed a warm welcome to the JDS, saying, “Met Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and JD(S) leader Shri H.D. Kumaraswamy in the presence of our senior leader and Home Minister Shri @AmitShah Ji. I am happy that JD(S) has decided to be a part of the National Democratic Alliance. We wholeheartedly welcome them in the NDA. This will further strengthen NDA and the vision of Hon PM @narendramodi Ji for ‘New India, Strong India’.”
Reports indicate that the BJP is likely to allocate four seats to the JDS in the upcoming 2024 polls. Earlier, former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had suggested that the JDS would contest on four seats. At the time, Kumaraswamy referred to Yediyurappa’s comment as a “personal reaction.”
The Janata Dal (Secular), headed by former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, has traditionally been a prominent third player in Karnataka’s political landscape, where the Congress and the BJP have been the dominant parties. However, the regional party experienced a decline in recent state assembly elections, with the Congress emerging as the dominant force and relegating the BJP to a distant third position. This strategic alliance with the BJP-led NDA is expected to reshape the political dynamics in the state and has the potential to significantly impact the 2024 general assembly elections.