The Janata Dal (Secular) has been maintaining that that it would not ally either with the Congress or the BJP to form a government in Karnakata. In what now seems like a slight shift in its stand, JD (S)' state chief HD Kumaraswamy today said that his party will form the government with any party that implements its manifesto. The JD (S) released its manifesto today (May 7).
With majority of opinion polls predicting a hung assembly in Karnataka assembly elections, the JD (S) may emerge as the 'kingmaker'. Many opinion polls say that both BJP and Congress may fall just short of the majority - 113 seats - mark in which case alliance with the JD (S)' would become a key factor to form a government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in one his rallies recently, had praised JD (S) chief HD Deve Gowda and slammed Rahul Gandhi for 'insulting' the latter. This had given rise to speculations that BJP was trying to woo the JD (S). Responding to Modi's praise, Gowda had said that it does not mean that JD (S) would ally with the BJP. Deve Gowda had last month said that he would 'disown' his son, Kumaraswamy, if he allies with the BJP post-May 15.
While Modi's comments have once again triggered the b-team debate, the BJP on record says that there will be no tie up. The BJP cites the past in which there was a term sharing arrangement with the JD(S) which went horribly wrong.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, who has been leading the Congress party's campaign in Karnataka, had called JD (S) as BJP's 'B-Team'. Kumaraswamy denied these allegations and said that if the JD(S) was really a b-team, he would not be campaigning so hard.
In the eventuality of a hung verdict, the JD(S) becomes an important player. With poll surveys predicting anything in the range of 35 to 39 for the JD(S), the party will play a crucial factor in ensuring that the single largest party touches the magic 113 mark in the 224 member house.
Karnataka is set to go to polls on May 12 and the counting would be held on May 15.