Bengaluru: There will be no ‘grand alliance’ of the opposition BJP and JD(S) against the ruling Congress in the state with the saffron party reportedly developing cold feet on tying up with the regional party.
After suffering humiliating defeats at the hands of regional outfits in Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, the party leadership feels displacing them from state politics in the long run by aligning with them, is easier said than done.
The change in the BJP’s stance was evident when a protest rally was taken out by the party to Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor and demand the removal of K.J. George from the Cabinet for allegedly harassing DySP M.K. Ganapati.
Former CM and JD(S) state president H.D. Kumaraswamy has planned to join the BJP delegation and had even told opposition leader Jagadish Shettar that BJP and JD(S) should take out a joint rally.
On coming to know about this plan of Mr Kumaraswamy, BJP state president B.S.Yeddyurappa rushed to Vidhana Soudha and asked BJP leaders to accompany him to Raj Bhavan. When he realised that Mr Yeddyurappa was leading the protest, Mr Kumaraswamy backed out and did not join the BJP delegation.
This strategic move by Yeddyurappa clearly shows that he does not want to have the JD(S) as an ally. He has reportedly told party leaders and the cadre that BJP must fight its battle against the Congress government on its own.
This stance could also jeopardize floor co-ordination with the JD(S), which was evident during the recent day-night dharna against the Congress government over the suicide of DySP Ganapati.
The BJP central leadership has its reasons for deciding to keep regional parties at arm’s length. Party strategists feel it is much easier to replace the Congress in the political space than a regional party. There is also a growing feeling in the party that regional outfits will emerge as the biggest threat to national parties in the respective states.
"If the state BJP ties up with JD(S), Deve Gowda’s outfit could well make the best of it and dominate in many places and this would make it difficult for the BJP to build its base. This is the reason why the top brass is reluctant on aligning with the JD(S) to fight Congress", said a BJP leader.
“Our national president Amit Shah is firm on this issue. He has categorically told the state leadership not to join hands with JD(S), when the BJP has enough strength to expand its base", the leader added. This was the reason why the BJP decided not to back JD(S) candidates in the recent Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council polls.