Kingmaker yet again, JD(S) gets pact offer from BJP, Cong

Will decide on alliance in five days, say party leaders
Last Updated 24 February 2016, 19:12 IST

With the BJP and the Congress sending out strong feelers that they want to forge an alliance with the JD(S) to come to power in the 11 hung ZPs, the regional party is struggling to arrive at a decision.

The role of JD(S) is crucial in seven out of 11 hung ZPs. While the Congress or BJP can come to power in Bagalkot, Shivamogga, Belagavi and Dharwad with the support of independents, they will have to seek support of the JD(S) in the remaining ZPs.

Both H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday maintained that they would take a decision in the next four to five days after holding consultations with the party MLAs and local leaders.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Kumaraswamy said, “We will align with one party in all the places,” he said. He also hinted that he was in favour of extending support to the BJP. “A majority of the local leaders and party workers want the party to align with the BJP - that is the general opinion,” he said.

The State Congress is planning to hold the reins of power in at least 15 Zilla Panchayats (ZPs) by entering into a tie-up with either the JD(S) or independent members. Sources in the party said the decision to have an alliance will be left to local leaders of the respective panchayat. The ruling party has won 10 of the 30 zilla panchayats. District incharge ministers and local party legislators will hold talks with the local JD(S) leaders or independents on the tie-up, the sources said.BJP leader and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar said the party was open for tie-up with the JD(S) in the hung ZPs and TPs. 

“There has been no instruction from the State unit. The local leaders can decide on the tie-up as the situation demands,” he said.

The State Election Commission has not yet released the vote share of parties in the ZP/TP polls. However, a back-of-the-envelope calculation done by political analysts for the ZP polls put the vote share of the Congress at 45.9 per cent, followed by BJP 37.6 and JD(S) 13.6. A total of 2.1 crore voters exercised their franchise in the elections. Seat-wise break-up of the ZP elections puts the Congress in the top slot.

The party by won 498 of the total 1,083 seats, followed by the BJP with 408 seats and JD(S) 148. 

(Published 24 February 2016, 19:12 IST)

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