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The Hindu
The Hindu
Sharath S. Srivatsa

JD(S) distances itself from both BJP and Congress

In what is being seen as a political signal coming ahead of the election to the Legislative Assembly next year, the Janata Dal (Secular) is displaying signs of distancing itself from both BJP and Congress to build itself a narrative nationally.

While the Congress has been terming the JD(S) as the B-team of saffron party since 2018, the meeting of former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy with Telengana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday is being termed as a political move to be with secular forces. Last week, Mr. Kumaraswamy had met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too. Incidentally, both Mr. Rao and Mr. Kumar are at work to build a political front to fight BJP in the 2024 general elections.

JD(S) sources said that Mr. Kumaraswamy’s move to be aligning with secular forces is bound to send a positive signal to minorities whom the party believes deserted them in 2018 elections. Sources believe that aligning with secular forces will help the party in 2023 Assembly elections. “Mr. Kumaraswamy is also keen on building his image nationally since his father and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda’s health does not permit him to remain politically active. There was also pressure on Mr. Kumaraswamy to be active politically at the national level,” say sources.

The meetings with Mr. Kumar and Mr. Rao will be followed by meetings with Kerala and Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers Pinarayi Vijayan and M.K. Stalin respectively, sources close to Mr. Kumaraswamy said. “The regional parties have become cautious of the BJP’s move to sabotage the regional powers after gaining a foothold. While BJP succeeded breaking Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the Janata Dal (United) came out of the coalition in Bihar to survive. BJP’s attempts to destabilise AAP government in Delhi did not bear fruit,” sources said, adding that Operation Kamala deployed by BJP to poach Opposition legislators was keenly discussed on Sunday.

The current political analysis is that the BJP’s aggressive politics towards the regional parties is in fact bringing these parties together for survival. “The BJP had created a myth about the regional parties as tukde gang. However, the developments in the recent months have brought together these parties,” sources said.

Mr. Rao-headed TRS pledged its support for JD(S) in the ensuing elections to the Assembly, and assured the party that it would work towards the victory of JD(S).

JD(S) to be part of alternative front

The Janata Dal (Secular) has vowed to be part of an alternative front to BJP and Congress that is being launched on Vijayadashami during Dasara by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao.

Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who confabulated with Mr. Rao for nearly three hours in Hyderabad, is learnt to have extended support to the front that will work to maintain communal harmony. Both the leaders are learnt to have discussed political situation and general atmosphere in the country after BJP came to power. Mr. Kumaraswamy also met Telengana Urban Development and Municipal Administration Minister K.T. Rama Rao.

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