In a recent announcement, former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa confirmed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will partner with HD Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. This alliance extends to Karnataka, covering both the Lok Sabha and local body elections.
Yediyurappa expressed his contentment with the alliance, stating, “I am pleased that Deve Gowda met our Prime Minister, and they have already agreed on four seats. I extend a warm welcome to them.” According to some sources, the BJP sought opinions from MLAs, former MLAs, and senior party leaders regarding support for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. A majority of these leaders have expressed their support for forming an alliance with the BJP.
Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has occasionally stated that the JDS might run in elections on its own, while HD Devegowda emphasized that the party’s members are not obligated to any national party. Nevertheless, in the 2023 Karnataka assembly elections, the party only managed to secure 19 seats. This outcome made it evident that the party’s future prospects depend on aligning itself with a broader national alliance.
In the 2019 elections, the Janata Dal managed to secure only one Lok Sabha seat in Hassan, which was considered its stronghold. In this constituency, HD Devegowda had made way for his grandnephew, Prajwal Revanna. However, Prajwal Revanna’s position as a Lok Sabha member is now uncertain due to a recent decision by the Karnataka High Court. The court has disqualified him, citing the submission of false affidavits during the 2018-2019 general election, putting his membership in jeopardy.
The BJP, backed by the Lingayat community in Karnataka, is strategically partnering with the JDS to leverage its support among the Vokkaligas, another influential caste group in the state. This alliance provides the BJP with an opportunity to access the JDS’s substantial Vokkaliga support base, thereby expanding its appeal across various caste communities in Karnataka.