JD(S)-BSP pre-poll alliance experiences turbulence

JD (s) national president H D Devegowda and BSP chief Mayavati inaugurating the JD (s) party Vikasa Parva rally ay yalahanka in Bengaluru on Saturday. Also seen JD (s) national president Danish Ali, JD (s) state president H D Kumaraswamy, former ministers H Viswanath and Basavaraja Hoeatti and Bandappa kashappanavar. Photo Srikanta Sharma R.

The JD(S)-BSP alliance appears to be in trouble as many of the ticket aspirants from the regional party have begun mounting pressure on the leadership to allow them to contest from constituencies which have been given away to the alliance partner.

As per the alliance, the BSP is contesting from 20 out of the 224 seats. But, the JD(S) aspirants and local leaders in more than a handful of these 20 constituencies, including Anekal and Gulbarga Rural, want the party to field them instead of handing over the segments to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

It is now being rumoured that the number of seats given to BSP might reduce, as JD(S) leaders feel that the Uttar Pradesh-based party’s winnability factor is restricted to only “five to six segments”.

The party is also mulling over fielding migrants from the BJP and the Congress in some of these constituencies. 

The two parties entered into an alliance on February 8, with JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and BSP chief Mayawati launching a joint campaign on February 17. Mayawati was scheduled to campaign for candidates of both parties. But there was no sign of her, fuelling speculations that all’s not well between the two parties.

Further, the BSP has announced candidates in only two constituencies — Kollegal and Bidar North. While BSP state president N Mahesh is contesting from Kollegal, BSP state coordinator Marasandra Muniyappa is contesting from Bidar North.

While conceding that there were indeed problems between the two parties, JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali told DH that there would, however, be no changes in the seat sharing.

“In an alliance, these type of things (dissent) happen. But there is no question of reduction of seats or deviating from the agreement. The agreement was signed by me and BSP’s general secretary Satish Chandra Misra on February 8. The JD(S) leadership is well aware of the terms of the agreement. I am the architect of this (alliance). How can I compromise on my credibility?” he said.

Ali, however, said that in case of “special circumstances”, the JD(S) would “convince” the BSP to accommodate changes, if any.

“Of course, there will be leaders from the BJP and the Congress who are waiting to join the JD(S). We are in the alliance with a mutual understanding. The JD(S) will, however, make sure that the migrants are accommodated in the non-BSP seats,” he added.

Mayawati’s visit

After much delay, BSP chief Mayawati will finally be campaigning in Karnataka this month end. Mayawati will be making two visits to the state — on April 25 and 26; and May 5 and 6.

The BSP chief, who is slated to start her campaigning from Mysuru, will also be travelling to and addressing public meetings in Chitradurga, Belagavi and Bidar, said JD(S) secretary general, Danish Ali.

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