Sources said the Congress leadership is trying to forge an alliance with BS Yeddyurappa, the former BJP leader who pulled out from the party and is currently leading the KJP with the sole aim of toppling the BJP from Karnataka. Political observers believe that the KJP leader will not mind joining hands with the enemy's enemy to throw out the saffron party.
In the urban local body elections held in Karnataka on March 7, the Congress put up a great performance and wrested nearly 40 per cent of BJP's wards. Both the BJP and the JD(S) finished with 906 wards while the Congress alone bagged 1,960 wards. The KJP got only 274 wards only Independents received 776 wards.
The Karnataka urban polls have encouraged the Congress on several accounts. First of all, the Congress's own base in southern India has been threatened in recent times. Its biggest bastion, Andhra Pradesh, is tending to slip away owing to erosion in the party ranks and pressing issues like Telangana and in this situation, finding a grip in another state is more than a relief for the Congress.
It has not been easy for the party to do good in states ruled by the BJP but after wresting Uttarakahnd and Himachal Pradesh last year, the Congress will be hoping to repeat the feat down south one more time.
The Congress will also hope that by befriending parties like the JD(S) and KJP, it will be able to draw the key Lingayat and Vokkaliga vote-banks into its fold and alienate the BJP further. It is even ready to consider giving Yeddyurappa the prized chair of the chief minister if indeed an alliance works out between the non-BJP forces.
The BJP's humiliation in the latest polls has also pleased the KJP leadership, which reiterated that the ruling party in the state has little existence without Yeddyurappa.
The BJP has struggled to deal with the BSY factor decisively. While a section of the party leaders wanted to remove him for compromising with BSY would have harmed the party's image, they felt. Another section believed that BSY was key to hold Karnataka. Although the recent results showed that the KJP did not make a rich harvest and even fared poorly in BSY's home district Shimoga.
But whatever be the outcome of the debate, there can be no denying that the former party president Nitin Gadkari's fragile leadership in handling the BSY issue did the BJP more harm than good.
The Congress was waiting for the right opportunity. Will Narendra Modi be confined to Gujarat? His party must find an answer fast.