Karnataka: HD Kumaraswamy’s Focus on JDS Survival


Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) leader HD Kumaraswamy is making some significant political moves. He made statements indicating that the Congress government may collapse after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and even ended a speech in the Karnataka legislative assembly with ‘Jai Shri Ram’. He also claims that nearly 50 MLAs, led by a senior Congress minister, have held talks with the BJP top leadership to switch sides.

This shift in strategy is seen as the JDS’ last-ditch effort for survival. After the Karnataka assembly polls, where the party was reduced to only 19 seats out of the total 224, its lowest since 1999, the party announced it would join hands with the BJP for the upcoming parliamentary polls. This decision came as a surprise to many, including those within the JDS, as the party had previously formed alliances with the Congress.

Political analyst Sandeep Shastri believes that the decision to align with the BJP was driven by the JDS’ need for survival. He also points out that the party had a smoother relationship with the BJP compared to the Congress in previous alliances. The JDS has realized the importance of being vocal in attacking the Congress, especially since they have fewer seats than the BJP in the assembly.

However, the question that arises is whether the Vokkaligas, the community that supports JDS and is the second largest voting population in the state, approve of the JDS’ alignment with the BJP and their use of slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’. It remains to be seen how this shift in ideology will sit with the community and the alliance partner, BJP.

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Kumaraswamy has expressed disappointment in the performance of his party in the Karnataka assembly elections and has blamed the “corrupt administration of Congress” for pushing them to form an alliance with the BJP. He has also accused the Muslim community of backstabbing JDS and supporting the Congress, leading to the party’s poor showing in the polls.

The JDS’ internal turmoil was evident when two state presidents, CM Ibrahim and CK Nanu, were ousted from their posts for “anti-party activities”. This led them to create a breakaway faction and declare themselves the “real JDS”.

The JDS was initially established in 1999 to offer the voters of Karnataka a regional alternative to counter the BJP’s communal politics. However, the party has now made several surprising political and ideological shifts, including ruling out alliances with either the Congress or the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections and aligning with the BJP.

It has become evident that every move made by the JDS is aimed at ensuring its political survival. The party believes that aligning with the BJP, a rising star, will give them a firmer grip and secure the future of their political dynasty.

In conclusion, the JDS’ political and ideological shifts are a reflection of their efforts to adapt to the changing political landscape and secure their position in Karnataka politics. Their realignment with the BJP and the use of slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’ are indicative of their strategic moves for survival.


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