JD(S) strikes another alliance, now with Pawar's NCP

JD(S) strikes another alliance, now with Pawar's NCP

JD(S) strikes another alliance, now with Pawar's NCP

The JD(S) is all set to forge an alliance with the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ahead of the Assembly polls.

Pawar, who was in the Bengaluru on Thursday for the working committee meeting of the NCP, met JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy and had a telephonic conversation with JD(S) supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.

"We did not go into the details of the alliance, but the observation is that the JD(S) leadership is sympathetic to coming together. I don't see why this alliance should not work out," Pawar said.

The Maratha strongman has been reaching out to like-minded parties across the country to form an united alliance against the BJP. "In Karnataka, the NCP's target is to defeat the BJP." He pointed out that the NCP was part of an alliance comprising the JD(S) and the Left parties in Kerala.

Pawar, 77, a veteran who was once a prime ministerial candidate, said the NCP had "limited strength" in Karnataka. "But, we have dedicated workers in some districts and Assembly constituencies. The NCP will contest limited seats," he said. Sources in the JD(S) said the NCP will fight 5-7 seats.

The former Maharashtra chief minister said he will spend about a week campaigning in the north Karnataka districts. "Farmers, dalits and minority welfare will be our focus."

Pawar's rider

The alliance with the JD(S) comes with a rider. "I put a condition that the JD(S) will not truck with the BJP in the event of a hung Assembly and Kumaraswamy accepted this condition," he said.

The JD(S) alliance with the NCP comes days after it announced a tie-up with the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which could split Dalit votes that traditionally go to the Congress.  

Pawar is hopeful that a UPA-like alliance will be in place to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. "Let's not forget, in 2004, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a popular prime minister. But, we never thought we'd form a government under Manmohan Singh.

The NCP chief said he has revised his assessment of the Congress president Rahul Gandhi, whom he once called "immature." He said Rahul now has stature. "Anybody heading a political party, however big or small, has some stature."

Mahadayi: Pawar backs K'taka

Former Maharashatra Chief Minister Sharad Pawar said Karnataka should get the benefit in the ensuing row over sharing of the Mahadayi river water. "Goa depends on tourism, whereas Karnataka is a farming state. And water is important for farmers. So, Karnataka must benefit," he said. Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra are riparian states of the Mahadayi.


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