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JD(S) ties up with NCP for Karnataka assembly elections

The Janata Dal (Secular) had earlier announced tie-up with Bahujan Samaj Party, in an effort to form a third front in the state ahead of the assembly elections in May.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2018 23:28 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Karnataka Assembly Elections,JD(S),NCP
Former chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy.(Arijit Sen/HT fILE Photo)

The Janata Dal (Secular) on Thursday announced a pre-poll alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), cementing its efforts to form a third front in the state ahead of the assembly elections in May.

The alliance was announced after former chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy met NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the city. The JD(S) had recently announced an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

According to Kumaraswamy, the partnership trumpeted the entrance of a third front in the state. “I had held discussions with Pawar to form a third front and this announcement is a result of the meeting,” he said.

Explaining the reason behind the alliance, Kumaraswamy said Pawar was popular in the Mumbai-Karnataka region, adding that the NCP would contest five to seven seats.

The Mumbai-Karnataka region — comprising the districts of Belagavi, Vijayapura, Bagalkote, Gadag, Dharwad and Haveri — accounts for 50 of the 224 seats in Karnataka assembly.

While the JD(S) garnered 20% of the vote share and 40 seats in the previous elections, the NCP and the BSP garnered 0.06% and 0.91%. However, both the parties were unable to win any seat.

Reacting to the developments, Congress general secretary in charge of the state KC Venugopal said the alliance did not signal any change in national politics.

“These are state-level alliances and they will not affect national politics,” he said, regarding the NCP, which was an alliance partner in the United Progressive Alliance government headed by the Congress.

According to political analyst Narayana A, the tie-up with the BSP and NCP seemed to suggest that all three parties had nothing to lose from the arrangement.

“At least in the case of the BSP, it is understandable why the JD(S) would want to tie up because in 10 seats where the JD(S) candidate was the runner-up, the votes polled by the BSP candidate were greater than the margin,” Narayana said.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 23:28 IST