Earlier today, top JD(S) leader Danish Ali joined the Bahujan Samaj Party ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections. As per reports, he is expected to contest from Amroha in western Uttar Pradesh on a BSP ticket.
To the neutral observer, it appears to be a further blow to the UPA. However, Chief Minister of Karnataka H.D. Kumaraswamy, who is in the Chief Minister’s seat thanks to the Congress party and whose party will be contesting the General Elections in alliance with the Congress, has taken credit for a ‘tactical decision’.
Danish Ali, the JDS General Secretary, has joined BSP in consent with me and our national president Sri HD Devegowda in a purely political arrangement between the two parties. It is a thoughtful political decision taken by #JDS and BSP to win more seats in the Loksabha elections.
— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) March 16, 2019
According to Kumaraswamy, Ali joined the BSP after quitting JD(S) with his consent so that the Mayawati’s party could win more seats in the Lok Sabha elections. However, it doesn’t make sense as the BSP will be competing against his ally Congress in Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, Kumaraswamy is either actively trying to undermine the Congress party or he is trying desperately to save face.
JD(S) and Congress had recently announced their seat-sharing plan for the 28 seats in Karnataka. Congress had kept 20 seats while allowing JD(S) only 8.
If Kumaraswamy is indeed being honest, then it further reflects the manner in which regional parties are attempting to undermine Congress’ influence in national politics. Danish Ali’s flip comes only days after Mayawati made it clear the BSP will not ally with the Congress in any state.
Earlier, the Samajwadi Party and the BSP had announced their alliance without keeping Congress in the loop. Adding insult to injury, the SP-BSP alliance had left only 2 seats for the Congress party in UP and insinuated that it was welcome to join the alliance if it was content with contesting in only 2 seats.
At a time when the Congress party is struggling to keep its flock together with more leaders quitting almost every day to join the BJP, it appears even their allies are working actively to undermine their interests and strengthen their rivals.
Though the actual intentions of the regional parties have not been clarified, it is evident that even though Congress pretends otherwise, it may no longer be calling the shots when it comes to an alliance of the opposition parties.