Karnataka elections: Will Congress form post-poll alliance with JD(S)?
Bengaluru, April 24: As they say in politics there is no permanent friends or enemies. It is all about convenience. In poll-bound Karnataka, experts indicate that after the election results will be out, the current equation shared between the three major political parties are likely to change for sure.
On Monday, a couple of opinion poll results on the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 were announced. None gave a majority to either the incumbent Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Every opinion poll restricted the number of seats to be won by both the Congress and the BJP to less than 95.
In that scenario, both the Congress and the BJP are not in a position to form the government. In the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, a party or a coalition needs at least 112 seats to form the government. All opinion polls stated that the Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)) is likely to play the role of a "kingmaker" post elections, further strengthening the speculations about the role the party headed by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda will play in the elections. The Assembly elections in Karnataka are scheduled on May 12. The results will be out on May 15.
While the Congress openly accused the JD(S) as the B-team of the BJP, the BJP too has not subtly stopped from alleging that the Congress and the JD(S) are together. However, the JD(S), in its make or break election this time, has been maintaining that it will be the "kingmaker", clearly indicating that both the BJP and the Congress need its help to form the next government in the southern state.
When incumbent chief minister Siddaramaiah was asked by senior journalist Barkha Dutt if the Congress will join hands with the JD(S) to form the next government if the need arises after elections, he dismissed the entire idea. "This situation does not arise at all. I am very confident that we will form the government on our own with a clear majority." However, opinion polls and ground reality beg to defer to Siddaramaiah's "tall claims".
In an interview with news agency ANI, JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda again rejected the idea of joining hands with either the Congress or the BJP after elections.
"It is interesting to see how political parties try to behave holier than thou before the elections. After elections, things change so fast that it is generally difficult to comprehend. As we have witnessed in the Indian politics, political parties never shy away from changing their position after elections. Same is likely to happen in Karnataka," said a Kannada writer, who loves to follow politics diligently.